Hundreds of families flocked to Miami’s Moore Park Friday morning for a massive food giveaway and stood in line for hours to stuff bags with free chickens, veggies and bottles of water.
About 60,000 pounds of bread, produce and poultry were trucked into the parking lot of the park at 765 NW 36th St. Organizers with Farm Share, a non-profit that partners with the U.S. and Florida departments of agriculture to distribute surplus food, said they expected to feed 1,000 families. One volunteer, pointing to a line that stretched halfway around a quarter-mile running track, said she’d never seen so many people at a Farm Share event in Miami-Dade.
Families hauling away bags of pastries, breads, bell peppers and carrots after 10 a.m. said they had stood in line for more than three hours. The event opened at 9 a.m.
Bessie Frederick, 77, said she came with a friend from Brownsville. The retired nurse’s assistant grabbed a frozen chicken, bottles of water and an Entenmann’s butter loaf cake, among other goods.
“I thought they were giving away turkeys. But we needed food,” she said, leaning on a cane.
The giveaway was hosted by Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, city Commissioner Keon Hardemon and Miami-Dade School Board member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall. Another Farm Share giveaway is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Veteran’s Day at the American Legion Post 29, 6445 NE Seventh Ave.
Alfio Ferrea, director of Farm Share’s USDA program, said the city and school board are among the program’s 400-plus partners in Miami-Dade. He said farmers receive tax credits for what they donate.
“They understand the food deserts. And we can provide the food,” he said.