Thousands receive holiday food baskets
MIAMI (WSVN) -- South Floridians in need this holiday season are getting a helping hand from one South Florida organization.
About 3,000 Miami-Dade residents lined up along 14th Avenue and West Flagler in Little Havana Wednesday morning to receive a free food basket. By 1 p.m., the line still went around the block.
Speaking through a translator, Rosa Gentiles said this handout is important because she doesn't have a job.
Julio Mendez said this will help his family get ready for Christmas. "Christmas dinner we're gonna cook, we're going to have a little dinner," he said.
"Thanks to the Camacol, they bring all these great people here, businesses to give out the different products," said Juanita Alvarez.
The community event is part of the Latin Chamber of Commerce's Annual Holiday Giveaway, now in its 27th year. "It helps out. Many people are going through had times, really hard times. Me, I could say that," said Alvarez, who has received a food basket from Camacol for the past eight years.
Pedro Mesa, a Camacol Board Member, knows how important this service is to his community. "It's kinda sad that you see the same faces year after year," he said. "It's meant to help people that need it, but for some people it's year after year that they need it."
Baskets filled with food items such as pork, soda and seasonings feed 10 people and were handed out just before 8 a.m.
Hundreds of volunteers turned out to help, and among them was Governor Rick Scott and former Governor Jeb Bush. "There are a lot of people that are suffering, a lot of people in need," said Bush. "Camacol and all their members do a spectacular job helping people this holiday season."
The crowd recalled a similar scene several weeks ago, when thousands waited in line, some of them for days, to receive their ticket for today's giveaway.
More than 3500 people actually showed up for 3,000 voutures, so now Camacol is looking to expand this very important program.
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