- Title: Sign of the times: mile-long line of cars outside California grocery giveaway
- Date: 9th April 2020
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (APRIL 9, 2020) (REUTERS) FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS WORKING IN THE RAIN AND WEARING PLASTIC PONCHOS AND FACE MASKS AS THEY HAND OVER FOOD PACKAGES TO LONG LINE OF CARS FOOD BANK WORKER PASSING BOX THROUGH CAR WINDOW TO DRIVER MORE OF FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS DISTRIBUTING FOOD TO DRIVERS POLICEMAN DIRECTING TRAFFIC VIEW OF CARS PULLING UP TO FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS WEARING PLASTIC PONCHOS MORE OF VOLUNTEERS PUTTING FOOD PACKAGES IN CARS LOS ANGELES REGIONAL FOOD BANK CEO MICHAEL FLOOD SPEAKING TO VOLUNTEER (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOS ANGELES REGIONAL FOOD BANK CEO MICHAEL FLOOD, SAYING: "This is one of our drive-thru where we have families, many of whom have been impacted by layoffs or furloughs or had their hours cut back . They are coming through and getting shelf-stable food, frozen meat, in this instance, chicken, and also fresh fruit, oranges. So, this is meant to help these families over the these next several days to meet their food needs." BAGS OF BREAD BEING PUT IN BOXES BY FOOD BANK VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER SIGNALING TO CAR DRIVER TO MOVE FORWARD (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOS ANGELES REGIONAL FOOD BANK CEO, MICHAEL FLOOD, SAYING: "So, this is becoming regular, in terms of the distributions. We are doing one or two a day depending on the day, and we are moving them around Los Angeles county which is the area we cover. Part of the reason for doing these distributions is to try to take some pressure off our agency network, food pantries and other organizations that are also seeing a big spike in demand for food assistance, so this has become regular. And the reason we are doing drive-thru is because of the public health guidelines, we are trying to limit personal interaction and just get people the food they need and have them get on their way. We also have a line for those that don't have a vehicle and we are again employing social distancing and the public health directives to make sure that people can stay safe and healthy while they seek food assistance." PEOPLE COMING AWAY FROM FOOD BANK WITH BAGS OF FRUIT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE STANDING IN LINE IN THE RAIN TO GET FOOD BOX OF FOOD AID VARIOUS OF CARS
- Keywords: COVID-19 California Food Bank Los Angeles Van Nuys coronavirus rain
- Reuters ID: LVA001C8RV5FR
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- City: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:03:36
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: A pop-up food pantry in Southern California on Thursday (April 9) drew so many people that the line of cars waiting for free groceries stretched about a mile (1.6 km), a haunting sign of how the coronavirus pandemic has hurt the working poor.
Hundreds of other people, many wearing trash bags to shelter from the rain, arrived at the one-day grocery giveaway on foot, forming a blocks-long queue in Van Nuys, in the central San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles.
Organizers said they had enough groceries to hand out to more than 2,500 families, with each receiving a 36-pound (16-kg) box of rice, lentils and other staples as well as frozen chicken, oranges and other foods.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down nonessential businesses across the United States, with more than 90% of Americans under some kind of stay-at-home order, depriving millions of a paycheck.
The northeast part of Los Angeles, home to many working poor Latino families, has been especially hard hit.
LA Regional Food Bank supplied the food donated outside Van Nuys City Hall. Its president, Michael Flood, said such giveaways were becoming an increasingly important way to help feed people in need, with "one or two a day" being held in different locations in Los Angeles County.
Thursday's food giveaway - coordinated by Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez in partnership with the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Labor Community Services - was open to anyone in need.
(Production: Alan Devall/Omar Younis)
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