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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Thousands lined the streets in Little Havana for the annual holiday gift basket giveaway sponsored by CAMACOL.

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While the giveaway didn’t start until 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, many of the residents told CBS4’s Walter Makaula they have been camped out for days.

Each person had their own way of passing the time.

At the event people were playing a friendly game of poker or dominoes. Others were taking cat naps – shutting out the crowd with cardboard boxes or a headset with their favorite tunes.

CLICK HERE to watch Walter Makaula’s report

“It’s been a family tradition since 1999. My grandma, my aunt, my parents every year we come here,” said giveaway attendee Ariel Trueba.

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Organizers said only adults are eligible to receive a basket. They also have to provide a valid ID and social security card. Only one voucher was allowed per person and only one per family. The vouchers were issued on a first come, first serve basis.

In total, CAMACOL had 3,000 baskets packed with food totaling about $120.

“It’s a complete Christmas dinner, which includes rice, beans, yucca. It includes a pork shank. It’s got milk, sodas, bread. You name it it’s about enough food to feed a family of about four individuals,” said Luis Cuervo, an executive with CAMACOL.

The complete meal was enough for some to campout since Friday, but well worth they said.

“My table on Christmas Eve and Christmas day will be able to have food and all because of the CAMACOL,” said Juanita Alvarez.


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