Coronavirus: Thousands turn out for food distribution event in East Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank supplied food for the distribution event.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Big crowds turned out for a food distribution event in East Los Angeles on Tuesday amid the coronavirus emergency -- one of many recently in Southern California as unemployment numbers continue to grow.

The event was held at the East Los Angeles Civic Center. There was a line of cars stretching all the way down Pomona Boulevard coming into the event.

More than 70 volunteers from various, local nonprofits and political offices helped hand out food. Thousands of people were expected to come to the event and pick up boxes of food.

Organizers' goal was to help about 3,000 families on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank supplied food for the distribution event.

As each week passes, organizers tell ABC7 the need is greater.

"My message today is the need is so great. We need more donations made to the LA Regional Food Bank. We need people to donate, give money, or if there is food products from our big grocers our corporations, come on, it's time to give and help reunite Los Angeles County as we go through this pandemic," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
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As California faces a massive surge in job losses, many are finding their unemployment benefits are delayed because of past problems on their records they didn't know about.

"Our overall distribution is up by 73%, so before this situation occurred, and it stayed at this elevated level. It's really been this sort of explosion in demand because so many people as we talk to them have been thrown out of jobs, laid off, furloughed, and they're in a situation where they don't have any income right now," said Michael Flood with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

The event was supposed to continue until 1 p.m., but the goal is to help as many people as possible. So, as long as there is a line and food available, the distribution is expected to continue.
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