By Brooke Shafer

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many South Florida families are still struggling and in need of food.

On Saturday, the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program hosted a distribution with Miami-Dade County Public Schools school board member Dr. Steven Gallon III, the North Miami Police Department, and NoMi Bar and Grill.

“People continue to suffer,” said Dr. Gallon III. “People are still having economic hardships.”

But beyond the families waiting to pick up food, Saturday’s distribution also helped restaurant employees who have been out of work amid the pandemic.

“When this hit, it kind of just devastated us,” said Leonard Johnson who owns NoMi Bar and Grill in North Miami.

His soul-food restaurant was forced to closed amid the pandemic as it was reaching its peak of business.

But on Saturday, Johnson was able to bring some of his employees back to work for the food distribution with the Dolphins.

“A situation like this helps me employ my people while this is going on,” Johnson said. “Even though it’s not a lot of money for them, this means everything because it’s money they didn’t have.”

“We wanted to take this approach to not only impact the recipients but also impact these businesses that lost a lot of things throughout this horrific tragedy,” said Jason Jenkins, the senior Vice President for the Miami Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program is a multi-million dollar gift commitment to provide at least one thousand meals a day for South Florida families. People in need can pick up free meals each weekday out of Hard Rock Stadium up to a 12-month period. On the weekend, the Dolphins work with local organizations and restaurants like NoMi to provide meals to those in need.

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