Kissimmee city officials thought they were going to serve 500 families at a food distribution event last week.
They ended up seeing about 900.
The line of vehicles stretched down the road on April 28 at the Kissimmee Service Center, 2213 W. Mabbette St. as families waited to get a day’s worth of food that included pineapple, mangos, snacks, canned goods and fruit juices.
The food distribution event was a partnership between the city of Kissimmee and the Farm Share organization.
The event was scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., but the need for food had people coming much earlier, as the coronavirus pandemic has put many out of work.
“People have been lining up since four o’clock this morning,’ said Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez, who was one of many people handing out food. “Some of these people haven’t seen a paycheck since March and they are in dire need, especially now.”
The food distribution was a “drive-by” event as volunteers placed food in the cars as they approached the distribution site.
This was the first year the city of Kissimmee partnered with Farm Share for a food distribution event.
“The city was expecting to serve 500 families, but thankfully we were able to reach over 900,” said Melissa Zayas-Moreno, city communications and public affairs officer.
According to its mission, Farm Share’s tries to ensure that no Floridian goes hungry and no food is wasted.
Between donors and Florida farmers, Farm Share distributes healthy and nutritious fruits, vegetables, proteins and other non-perishable food to Florida families, children, seniors and individuals in need.
Farm Share partners with more than 2,000 food pantries, churches, schools and other nonprofits throughout Florida to distribute food every single day.
Last year, Farm Share distributed more than 88 million pounds of food to more than 17.5 million households residing in all of Florida’s 67 counties. Of the 88 million pounds of food distributed, more than 20 million pounds were fresh healthy fruits and vegetables.
City Commissioner Angela Eady made connection with Farm Share and brought it to the City Commission. It was then approved by the City Commission to allow city resources to manage the event.
“We are very grateful for Farm Share with what hey are doing today,” Alvarez said.
City Commissioner Olga Gonzalez was also on the front lines helping to give out food. She said she wanted the event to give people “a little hope.”
“A little hope that things are going to get better,” Gonzalez said.
Zayas-Moreno said currently, there was no future date for a repeat event.