MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Farm Share and the Rotary Club of Homestead teamed up Wednesday morning to prepare and pass out more than 1,200 bags of groceries and canned goods to those in need.

On Saturday, the two organizations will join forces again to hand out food items to the general public.

“We have two programs,” said Phil Marraccini, the President of the Rotary Club of Homestead. “The program today is for businesses and restaurants that had to lay off employees. This is an exceptional situation. We just had a seafood festival just two weeks before the quarantine and we were blessed. The Rotary Club has been around nearly 100 years and we are dedicated to helping people.”

Homestead Mayor Steve Losner helped pass out the bags of food and said people from a lot of “mom and pop” restaurants would benefit.

“We are also giving out to each person who comes through a $50 grocery Card for Walmart for people to get over the hump until the next round of assistance comes in. This economy has been shut down across the board leaving nothing untouched. The Rotary Club wants to help those hit the earliest and hardest in this shutdown,” said Losner.

The Mayor told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he is reminded of the dark days following Hurricane Andrew, which gutted Homestead and Florida City on August 24th of 1992.

“As I mentioned to someone a few days ago the only difference in the scope of things is that at least we have a roof over our hearts and electricity but beyond that, the economic devastation is probably greater than that of Andrew,” he said.

In line to get the canned goods, Farmers Market restaurant dishwasher Raymond Serano said “It is great. It is awesome. We are slow and our hours got cut so this is a great big help for us.”

Brandi Stevens, a manager and server, and her husband, Andrew Stevens, a bartender and manager at a restaurant, also drove up in their truck to receive the food.

“We are grateful, very grateful,” said Brandi Stevens. “My husband and I are both out of work. Hopefully, my kids will appreciate this as much as I do.”

“We are super grateful,” said Andrew Stevens. “We have three kids at home to feed. It’s been hard not being able to get through and get to work or do anything. We just haven’t had any help. The hardest thing is not knowing, not knowing what is coming up or when we can go back to work or what we are able to do or what the future will hold for us.”

“Luckily we got our mortgage postponed and a lot of bills postponed,” he said. “We are still accruing interest on that and still filling in the holes. The biggest concern is that we are accruing debt but we are not making money. So anything we receive now we are grateful for.”

Marraccini said The Rotary Club of Homestead and Farm Share are teaming up for another beginner event starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Homestead Sports Complex.

“We plan to pass out a thousand bags of groceries and the event is open to the general public meaning that anyone in the public can come. If you live in North Miami you can go there,” said Marraccini. “We plan to hold this event from 9 a.m. to noon but we are not certain exactly when it will actually end.”

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Peter D'Oench

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