OCOEE, Fla. - Southeastern Food Bank volunteers delivered food to about 1,000 families in need this Thanksgiving.
“You don't know what they're going through and sometimes it's good to put yourself in other people's situations and being able to get out of your comfort zone, which is what it is, right? Going to other people's homes,” said Luis Rodriguez, a volunteer driver.
Dropping off the food was the end result of days of volunteers' work for the food bank. This year, they pre-packed all of the meals so they were ready to pack-up and send off Thanksgiving morning, instead of assembling them on-site.
“It makes me feel really good because I like giving,” said volunteer Ava Marosan, “and this season right now is about giving, so I like giving.”
Thanksgiving morning, volunteers unloaded boxes and bags packed with holiday food and essential paper-goods from trucks, transferring them to the trunks of cars to send out to less-fortunate families.
“Yeah, we got it figured out and pretty well-coordinated, but yeah just getting those boxes and paper products and bread into the trucks, into the vehicles,” said volunteer Aaron Green.
Of course, because of COVID-19, there have been some changes, abiding by all the masking and social-distancing safety measures, but the giveaway is a tradition the food bank's been upholding for nearly 30 years, since Publix worker Johnny Dyal started it.
“Throughout the years I've had so many people say, 'We delivered food, and we've been doing it since our children were small,' and we get more of a blessing than anything because we go there and see how they're really helping someone,” Dyal said.
The Southeastern Food Bank does this three times a year - on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.