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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An annual tradition in one Little Havana neighborhood as hundreds of people camp out for days to receive a free holiday meal basket.

On December 3rd, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce passed out three thousand vouchers for the baskets which contain about $120 worth of food which feeds a family of four.

At 7 a.m. Wednesday, those with vouchers redeemed them for their holiday gift.

The line for this year’s Camacol holiday gift basket giveaway wrapped around the block near Northwest 1st Street and 14th Avenue early Wednesday morning with more than a thousand people in line.

“I got here Friday morning,” said Juanita Alvarez, one of the first dozen or so in line.

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This was Alvarez’s ninth year of participating the food basket giveaway.

Those in line with vouchers were guaranteed a food basket. Alvarez said she camped out so she could go home sooner.

“I’d rather be behind 20 or 30 people, not 200, I really want to get the basket so I can go home and sleep,” said Alvarez.

Some in line said camping out has become part of their holiday tradition where they meet new people and reconnect with those they haven’t seen since last year. They also said it was a way to show their appreciation to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the sponsors who may the giveaway possible.

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