LITTLE HAVANA (CBS4) – Hundreds of South Floridians lined up before dawn in Little Havana for a chance to feed their families this holiday.

As part of the Latin Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday basket giveaway, representatives from the organization handed out food vouchers on Flagler Street between 14th and 15th Avenues in Little Havana.

Some people began to line up last Friday. Many of those who waited in line for hours were either unemployed or they live on a fixed income and can’t afford any extras.

“It’s very, very hard,” said Mosas Hernandez. “We need something free because right now,  I lost my job, I need to pay my rent, so believe me it’s very hard.”

By mid-morning, thousands waited in a line which wrapped around the block outside the voucher distribution location. Concerned about safety, the City of Miami Police Department was in attendance to keep order and look after the sick and elderly.

Those who received a voucher Wednesday will return on December 14th and exchange it for bags of food.

Each voucher can be redeemed for five bags of groceries worth $120. They are filled with pork, rice, beans, milk, bread and other delicious items which are often used in a traditional Noche Buena dinner.

This is the 26th year the Latin American Chamber of Commerce has given Christmas food away. It began with a holiday gift bag for just ten families. The organization now provides families with food bags, truckloads of food that are  donated by several companies

Mario Gutierrez is the Chamber’s President. “This year was a little more difficult.”

In all his years doing this, Gutierrez said he has rarely seen the demand so high, the need so great.

“It was tough to get donations?” asked CBS4’s Stephen Stock.

“It was tough for everybody. Tough for everybody,” Guitierrez told him.

Perhaps no one symbolized the change in economic fortunes more than Angela Llamas who, with her friends and family, stood in line for more than 24 hours.

“Who wants to be here? Not me. It’s just tough,” said Llamas, who said the food vouchers are a necessity for her family who are all out of work and out of luck.  “This is actually the first year this has happened. Usually my mom comes and we give it other people who really need it. But now we’re the ones who need it the most. It sucks really bad.”

The Chamber finished giving away all 3,000 vouchers in two hours. Even so, the line of people continued to snake around the block leading organizers to conclude they could have given away twice as many vouchers this year, because the  need is that great.

Comments (98)
  1. Minu M Ramsey says:

    Seems to me that it’s time for an illegal immigrant raid… but even better, how do you like Obama now?
    Are you not aware that this is HIS economy? Vote NOPE in 2012

    1. oatka says:

      “how do you like Obama now?”

      They won’t/can’t make the connection and will vote for him again in 2012 because “it’s all Bush’s fault”.

  2. Rod Miller says:

    God Bless those who help those lest fortunate!

    1. Pauli Gela says:

      How many are illegal alien free loaders?

  3. Tom Walter says:

    “Free” No Obla, But Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie, Mine Mine Mine “Free” Yeah, Sure.

    1. jasperddbgghost says:

      Obama Anthem:

      All Hail the Messiah
      Obama, Obama
      The path to the new Socialist Motherland!
      Our Savior, our Savior
      Obama, Obama
      The leader more famous than Lindsay Lohan
      Bow down and praise The One
      Give him your money and your guns
      Give us a country
      That makes your wife proud!
      Lord Barry heal the bitter ones:
      White and Clinging to faith and to guns
      Hope for the change
      Of the hope of the change!

  4. Victor says:

    Times are tough so I am waiting in line for a voucher for $120 worth of food. Thank God I have my cell phone to talk to mis amigos while I sit in line for free stuff!

    1. Tom Walter says:

      You beat me to it amigo.

    2. Bill says:

      The phone is free too. You pay for it under “universal service charge” on your bill

    3. JRHowosso says:

      Yup that was my first impression…………

    4. JByrd42 says:

      And they work under the table, pay very little, if any taxes and still ask for handouts. America, home of the handouts. Gotta love socialism.

      1. Kevin Pearson says:

        Most waiters and bartenders don’t report their tips and don’t pay taxes on them either, regardless of their national origin, What’s your point?

    5. George W. Axl Rosebush says:

      And later when I go home I can watch the news on my 46″ flatscreen and see footage of me!

      1. Leroy says:

        I see it everyday when I go home from work and cut through low-income government subsidized housing, Rent a Center or Aaron’s trucks pulled up onto the yards unloading huge wide-screens with a pregnant teenager holding the door open, and yakking on a cell phone telling all her friends to come over..
        Satellite dishes festoon almost every yard along with a vehicle with rims that cost of fortune.
        Must be nice being nouveau poor. I get up Mon-Fri at 5:00 in the morning and get home at 6:30 – 7:00 at night, and I have to drive through that junk and it just irks me to no end.
        I am just plain tired of supporting these parasites, and just as tired of supporting those banksters and Wall Streeters who proclaim, “If we don’t do something now by tomorrow morning we are all doomed.” They all can go to Hades for all I care, I’m just dog tired.

  5. Tom Walter says:

    Looks Like The “Amigo” Has Enough $ To Make Cell Phone Call’s To Old Mexico, Eh?

    1. Chicago Nick says:

      I noticed that right away too Tom ! LOL

      but then that’s another Oblamo handout which it was just proven in one city that the free welfare phones Obama hands out are being abused!!!!!!! Gee what a shocker huh? Just Google “Free cell phone fraud out of control in Ohio”

      Arrrrriiiiiibbbbbaaa AMERICA Andele Andele!!….land of the everything free for me !!!! WOO WOO!

      1. Victor says:


        Free cell phone for him!!! Check your cell bill and find the embedded ‘tax’ that we pay for him/ them to sit in line with one hand out and the other holding the phone to his ear!!

  6. Chicago Nick says:

    Gee, any bets out there that these are the very same people who are on the welfare rolls generation after generation? Not a single person in that pic looks like they’ve worked in their lives.

    It’s one thing helping folks who’ve just hit the Oblamo Obamanomics Speed Bump like I’m sure some of those folks are, but another thing to hand out food to people already getting food stamps and welfare too!

    That’s what FOOD STAMPS ARE FOR, not to cash in for 10 cents on the dollar for an hours worth of crack rocks which MOST OF THEM ARE IN LITTLE HAVANA and then run down to the food pantry to load up on groceries!!

  7. AVM says:

    Keep importing bums ,when the country already is in debt .Good plan for anarchy ,not America .

  8. JustAGuy says:

    I wonder how many of them who are now unemployed had jobs the day they voted for Obama back in 2008.

  9. joe says:

    yup. I’m just waiting for my free turkey, talking on my cell phone.

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      Apparently you didn’t read the article. Turkey is not on the menu of a Buena Noche, but pork is.

  10. EnglishTeacherNot says:

    “They are filled pork, rice, beans…etc” …bad grammar.

    “truckloads of food that donated by several companies” …bad grammar again, but wait, do you mean those evil companies?

    Dumb down America certainly has worked in the journalism sector.

    1. jbspry says:

      They are filled with pork, rice, beans, milk, bread and other delicious items which are often used in a traditional Noche Buena dinner.

      “other delicious items”…sounds more like a sales pitch than a news item. I believe this entire story is a press release written by the charity itself.
      PS: Not all of us would consider pork and beans “delicious”.

      1. jbspry says:

        You don’t maybe have a nice Yanqui Pot Roast in one of them bags do you?

  11. Chuck says:

    let’s see, $120 worth of food converts on the local street to how much in cash for drugs and alcohol….?

    1. Pete Lanteri says:

      About $500 I’d guess. lol.

  12. jer says:

    at least take a picture of somebody without a cell phone

    1. bikertrash says:

      What about all thr ones who show up in thir escalades on their way to the methadone clinic

      1. SpfldJimbo says:

        Wouldn’t be surprised……:>)

    2. BARRY'S CT. SSN 042-68-4425 says:

      “Bring a valid Social Security Number with you”

      Well, that leaves Obama out.

    3. S says:

      Several people need assistance and if you can help, please do

      Go to: Dailyjobcuts com

  13. Sam says:

    First, most if not all of these people are illegals. Second most if not all don’t speak english as a first language and finally why do they have cell phones? My cell phone cost $100 per month and i pay the bill. I would also bet that most if not all have unlimited text and surfing along with a big flat screen tv at home connected to a cable box with all the channels. Send them home.

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      You are quite ignorant.

      This is little Havana, Not of those that live in LIttle havana are Cuban but many are. Cubans are NOT illegal. Cubans are all given green cards.

      Most cell phones come with a 2 year contract. If they lose their job, they just cannot just turn off their cell phones without a penalty. There is a 175 dollar penalty, enough for pat for 3 or 4 months to disconnect the phone.

      or they have MetroPcs, which has no contract, and unlimited calls for about 50 bucks a month. That’s more than sufficient for them in Miami. Many people in Miami, are used to using cell phones and so they have no phone at home, so they to have their cell phone to be able to be contacted while they are looking for work.

  14. BlownfuelCoupe says:

    Hey, offer them Free TOFU Turkey, take it of leave it.

  15. BlownfuelCoupe says:

    This just breaking….Michele Obama is considering a law suit claiming these free give-a-ways are potentially dangerous, and simply just taste too good for the Common Man.

    For once I hope she wins…

  16. Mack says:

    I’m gonna go wait in line for mine….only it’s not free for me. Since I’m a tax payer I’m paying for it

    1. JByrd42 says:

      But at least you deserve it. The libs realized long ago that they could continue to get re-elected by allowing more and more illegals into our once great country. Don’t get me wrong. The Republicans wanted the cheap labor but the libs are mainly to blame. They love giving handouts.

      1. Kevin Pearson says:

        This is Little Havana, These are mostly Cubans. Cubans are NOT “illegal”. They are ALL given “green cards” in other words, PERMANENT RESIDENCY

      2. Juan says:

        kassa Posted on I would very much like to do my masters in early loocdhihd Education because I love to kkow more about how childresn learn, and I want contribute by preparing the right materials .

    2. Kevin Pearson says:

      Paying for it? What does that have to do with being a taxpayer. Did you not read the story? These are private donations, not tax payer funded.

  17. Bob McKay says:

    aghh the obama holidays,,isnt it wonderful,,you beg for food, he plays golf,,its a nice gig!!!

  18. smokehouse56 says:

    ““It was tough for everybody. Tough for everybody,””……..Do you think it will be tough on Obama, Reid and Pelosi. But than the damn fools keep voting for liberals so they can wait in line for hours for a turkey. After alkl, it free. You know, free and paid for by someone else.

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      Apparently you didn’t read the article. Turkey is not on the menu of a Buena Noche, but pork it.

      These are private donations, not taxpayer funded.

  19. Slack says:

    Lots of fat people talking on cell phones waiting for their free food…..
    Nothing to see here, please move along……

  20. Rollo says:

    Another tale of woe for the Obamatons. Obama and the DNC just love having their “subjects” depend on the government and charities. It gives them more control of a large section of voters that way. God help us if we have to put up with him for another four years. I don’t know if this country can stand it.

  21. Cpl Chaos says:

    As a tax payer – you know, one of the 47% – I don’t mind lending a hand to somebody who has hit hard times. What disgusts me is the government taking my money from me and giving it to anybody who wants it – regardless of need, deservedness, or citizenship. I love the idea of requiring a Social Security card – and not a green card. Don’t have one? Then go home and have THEM feed you.
    First time on this site, very impressed with the amount of intelligent conservatives. Rock on!

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      What does that have to do with this story? These are vouchers provided by Latin BUSINESSES for Latin foods many of which are provided by the Latin Buinesses. These are not taxpayer funded, so what does you comment have to do with this story?

    2. Kevin Pearson says:

      A “green card” is a photo ID. A Social Security Card is not.

      Every employee since 1986 must prove eligibility of employment by filling out an I-9 form. On that form, a green card in and of itself is sufficient to prove eligibility of employment. A Social security card is not. A Social Security Card requires a photo ID. A green card is a photo ID, but with a green card, a Social Secutiry card is not necessary to prove eligibility of employment.

  22. Golfendude says:

    The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

    The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America . Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

    The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

    Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has it figured out. We have a lot of work to do.

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      I am a rock solid conservative, and I spent the last two years in the Czech Republic, but what does Obama have to do with this story? This story is about Latin businesses, providing vouchers for mainly Latin people, for a bag of Latin groceries. These are private donations.

  23. Becky says:

    “Usually my mom comes and we give it other people who really need it. But now we’re the ones who need it the most. ” SERIOUSLY? Mom stood in line for hours to give to someone else needy? Whatever. Obviously not the first time for this family…and she is standing in line with friends and family, are they each getting a handout?
    I’ve worked 2 jobs for almost 2 years supporting my small family. No handouts for us…wouldn’t want them.

    1. John Fox says:

      When my wife was divorced and living on her own with two young kids and had a husband who didn’t pay child support, a ‘friendly’ neighbor signed her up at the local food bank. She never went because she wouldn’t take charity.

      Found out later that her ‘friendly neighbor’ was going for her and keeping the food.

      She took her name off the list…..

      Charities are better than the government, but if you are giving out free stuff, people will come and get it, some because they need it and others simply because they can.

  24. Jen says:

    Come to Mississippi and the government will give you a free house with granite countertops. See advertisement that says bad credit is OK!

  25. Richard says:

    First of all I have lived in SW Florida for over 30 years, and I am white.

    Why does that matter…..because this looks to me like a situation where “mostly” Latino/Hispanic companies and people are donating with the help of Latino/Hispanic organizers to feed mostly Latino/ Hispanic people.

    As far as I can tell, no other ethnic groups were denied access to wait in line for their voucher.

    Across Florida we have many companies such as Publix grocery stores where you can purchase pre priced bags of groceries that will be served to the needy.

    Sure, there are some freeloaders, but there are many that are TRULY NEEDY THIS YEAR.

    Take all the shots you want at me, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


    1. Publix employee says:

      Publix throws away more food on a daily basis than the needy could ever eat. I see it happen everyday. Also Publix and other grocery stores would be hurting companies in this economy if the gov’t didn’t subsidize them through food stamps, errr… ebt cards. Don’t ask the leeches to buy sustenance meals, they’re buying roast beef subs with gruyere cheese.

  26. SpfldJimbo says:

    What a great way to get the “Occupy” crowd to leave public parks!

  27. Jesher Spelling says:

    Let’s face it, these same people waiting for handouts, will VOTE for more years of the same in Nov. 2012 – more handouts, free houses, free transportation. it’s all so disgusting and this is WHAT THE DEMOCRATS WANT.

    Go cry me a river, and be sure to vote DEMOCRAT to rob your fellow citizens of the wealth they worked for.

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      The vouchers are passed out by the Latin Chamber of Commerce, These are not taxpayer funded, but funded by local businesses. Latin businesses for Latin people.

      Most Cubans vote strictly Repubicam. Look at the congressional caucus from Dade Country. Other than Frederica Wilson, they are all Republican and all Cuban.

  28. Julio says:

    Read the article about people with a “Miami accent” scamming hotel buffets.

    These are Cubans ! Most can’t even speak English. They are scamming EVERYTHING like “wild pigs” (and they make a lot of babies too).

    Welcome to the banana republic of Miami ! And it’s spreading to a city near you.

  29. julio says:

    What a bunch of idiots waiting in line , I just waited till some one got his voucher approached him at the corner and asked him if he is willing to sell it for $ 50. ………YES HE DID. Cash is king.

  30. jbspry says:

    “Hundreds of South Floridians lined up in Little Havana overnight for a chance to feed their families this holiday.”
    CORRECTION: “…for a chance to have someone else feed their families…”

  31. Mar51 says:

    I am happy to see that they were asking for IDs.

    This is why private charity is so much better than the government. The USDA forbids agencies from asking for identification or proof of need.

    The government policies lead to people receiving help at multiple agencies, and does not distinguish between those who truly need and those who do not.

  32. julius spencer says:

    None of these people were really THIN! Some were actually obese. Obviously, they are getting enough to eat.

  33. TG says:

    What “holiday” are they speaking of, Cinco De Mayo”?

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      “Cinco de Mayo” doesn’t exist. It is simply a beer commercial. Just shows how ignorant you are.

    2. Kevin Pearson says:

      “Cinco de Mayo” is a beer conmercial aimed at gringos, It isn’t a real holiday. Only someone as stupid as you, would make such a comment.

      1. Dennis D says:

        Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a holiday held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla,[1][2][3][4] where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla

      2. Kevin Pearson says:

        @ Dennis

        Regional? Like Patriot Day in Massachussetts and Maine? By you own admission, it is not a national holiday. It was simply devised by Corona in order to sell more beer to Gringos. Most Latinos that don’t work in Mexican restaurants in the States would have any idea what you are talking about if you were to say “Happy Cinco de Mayo” And most of these people are Cuban.

        The REAL Cinco de Mayo would be celebrated in the Czech Republic to comemorate the anniversary of the Prague Uprising when the residents took to the streets in an attempt to purge their city of the Nazi occupiers. The only reason that it is not celebrated is because it is sandwiched in between “International Communist Day” and “Let’s Sit on Our Fat Lazy Europe-Pansy A$$,.While the Americans’ Finish the Job Day”

  34. AdrienneM says:

    But they can afford cell phone srevice, as per the dude in the photo.

    1. ADMIN says:

      The federal government provides free or low cost telephone service for people on public assistance. It can be a home phone or cellular. You pay for this through your communication. taxes.

      1. Jbird says:

        Yeah so a poor person has a “Free” phone at taxpayer expense. What’s going to be the next great government entitlement program? The internet? Oh wait, that’s also included in the same kind of tax as the “Free” cellular phone tax more commonly known as the Universal Service Fund! Next up: video game tax so poor kids won’t get left behind. Then a bicycle tax with the same argument, then a car tax because poor people certainly can’t walk to the grocery store and risk a blister. Then a new home tax so poor people can have a new home too, then………….this socialist entitlement mentality taxpayer funded gravy train has to STOP! It’s already just about killing off the EU nations.

    2. Kevin Pearson says:

      MetroPcs runs about 50 dollars a month for unlimited calls with no contract . Most people don’t have home phones and this is the only way to be contacted to look for work.

  35. Jewfromhell says:

    How many of these freeloading parasites would be happy to go back the the motherland of Comrade Fidel? Let’s have a Freeloder Flotilla to take them back to Cuba!

  36. proudnot2bliberal says:

    Too bad they dont put in the amount of time standing in line for free stuff to something productive that would better themselves & get a job that they coould live on Say like learning English or getting an education!

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      Having grown up in “redneck” country, I can honestly say that a lot of “native English speakers”, don’t speak English very well either.

  37. AccountantNot says:

    ” – Hundreds of South Floridians lined up…
    …The Chamber finished giving away all 3,000 vouchers in two hours.
    Even so, the line of people continued to snake around the block leading organizers to conclude they could have given away twice as many vouchers this year…”

    Do you suppose, if you didn’t give all 3000 vouchers to a few hundred people, there might be some left for those others in line? Many of which may be in line for the second time.

  38. valuesprinciples says:

    Several things stick out in the story that people have not commented on. First being the Latin Chamber is doing this, and yet every one is assuming its the liberal govt, specifically -0-bama. Dont get me wrong, the idiot in the WH needs to GO, replaced by someone who is going to Protect the Constitution and our rights.
    Second, there looked to be only a handful of skinny hungry people. most every one looked like they have never really experienced real hunger, like their grandparents, and perhaps even parents from the Cuba Castro destroyed. I am sad to see Cubans, mostly a conservative, hard working lot, acting like America has let them down. America has not let them down, they have let those who truly suffered in communism and oppression, and looked to Am3rica for opp0rtunity and freedom, down.
    Lastly, the chick who said she used to have her mom stand in line but now THEY are the ones who need it most.. So this woman would elbow her way to the top of the line to make sure those whom she previously heleped were now, no longer in need. somehow I doubt that.
    Entitlement attitude only takes a generation or two.. Get to know it, get to love it, OH, and you get to PAY FOR IT.

  39. Duke says:

    So if this was in a German descent neighborhood, would the bags have bratwurst and pumpernickel?

  40. Duke says:

    And these same dumbazz people that are out of work, without hope, voted for Obama, will probably vote for the idiot again in 2012!! You can feed stupid, but you can’t fix stupid!

  41. Crosscut says:

    The photo of that illegal waiting in line for his handout and talking on his cell phone stinks. Time to call ICE. America has enough natural born moochers, don’t need anymore.

  42. Ernaldo T says:

    The Dimocrats were out in force….

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      Did you not read the article? Or maybe you are an illiterate redneck. This is in Little Havana. They are Cubans. Cubans are fiercely anti-Communist and most all are registered Republicans.

      Think Marco Rubio.

  43. tom harris says:

    i wonder how many of these people would have lined up for hours on end for a job. im betting the line would have been a lot shorter.

  44. TruthTeller says:

    Alas, there is another side to this sad tale. In my area we have discovered the people who signed up at four and five churches and had the dinners delivered to them on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. SOOO There will always be the slimy freeloaders who feed off the others!!!!!

  45. Brian Thrasher says:

    Better be nice people , Obama has no problem sending Holder to Florida to file a lawsuit against tthe state if they try and crack down on the illegals

  46. Reese says:

    Wow the number of idiots in this thread, this is Little Havana…its Cubans not Mexicans. And socialism? Please these are people who fled Castro and are strongly tied/loyal to THIS country.

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      These people are too stupid to be able to point Cuba out on a map. They think that it is patriotic to hate anyone that speak Spanish. They are just full of hate.

      Not just Cubans, but a lot of Puerto Ricans as well in this area. Puerto Rican = U. S. Citizens. But all these hate-filled idiots are too ignorant to know the difference.

      I have seen a lot of John Wayne movies in my time, and I have seen the Duke use a lot of Spanish words, and I have never seen him act as it were offensive for him to do so. These faux-“patriots” aversion to foreign languages, is really just a cover for the fact their own English is poor and their own vocabulary is limited.

  47. agentmom says:

    The guy in the picture can afford a cell phone but he needs a voucher to feed his family? Last time I checked, you reduced your expenses if you were that poor, you didn’t hold your hand out.

    1. Kevin Pearson says:

      If you don’t have a phone where someone can call you for work, then it would be hard to find work.

  48. Dennis D says:

    Obama’s trickle up poverty is working. Now everyone is poor.

  49. HDS26234 says:

    Yes, illegals are condemned and rightly so! Howver, if born Americans were not so unpatriotic, these illegals would not be here, right? Yes, born Americans your sins have caught up with you and you are pay for it at an increasing pace, right?

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