PEMBROKE PARK (CBSMiami) – You could call it a sign of how bad things are getting.
A food distribution event in Broward had to be shut down Friday because the lines were too long. Thousands of cars were stretched for miles with people waiting hours. This is the new reality, the front line unimaginable just a month ago. So many suddenly out of work and hungry.
The line of cars stretched from all directions around the Koinonia Worship Center and Village. Just an hour into distribution traffic had backed up Hallandale Boulevard to I-95. Most people waited up to three hours for a bag of food.
Annie Humphries was grateful.
“We got to eat, we got to eat,” she said.
The food distribution in Pembroke Park was put together by Florida Representative Shevrin Jones. He knew there was a need but quickly realized he was outnumbered.
“I did not expect this turnout. People were lined up st 7 o’clock this morning and right now we have cars lined all to 441. Easily about 3,000 cars. And we already served around 500,” He said late morning.
The food donated by Farm Share included produce to last a few days. Many in the line were happy to wait, know that someone was helping.
Isa Pellarroel piled her whole family in the car.
“I stay in the line. You have to live,” she said.
Ivan Flores has watched his work decline for weeks.
“I’m working for Uber and Uber is not (makes a face). And my wife is working at Pollo Tropical and she is not working,” he said.
Valeria Caiced spent the morning keeping her mom company.
“My mom does not have a job right now so it’s important that we get this food,” she said.
Valeria said the wait was a bit of an issue as some people started cutting the line. The young girl stepped out of the car and stood up to strangers to hold her spot.
“They don’t have any respect. They don’t understand that me and mom have been waiting for three hours. Like they don’t care,” she said.
Jones understood the frustration. It’s not just an issue of what is going on right now.
“The panic is we don’t know when this is going to end. That’s why you see people stockpiling food and toilet paper, all this stuff. There is no direction that’s really coming from nowhere,” he said.
By 1 p.m., sheriff’s deputies shut the distribution down because traffic had brought the city to a halt.
They were also out of food.
Jones tod CBS4 he will find more and keep helping.
“We are all working together to at least the lower panic going on in some people’s mind. That’s the hope that humanity is very resilient,” he said.
Thousands of people did not get a chance to get food. The good news is there are several food distributions planned for Saturday. Here is a list of where and when.