DOVER, Del. (CBS) — Drive-thru pantries are popping up across the region to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The lastest was at “The Monster Mile.”
Carloads of families passed through the Dover International Speedway Wednesday to get free food. It was first come, first served.
“People began arriving as early as 6:30 a.m.,” Kim Turner, with the Food Bank of Delaware, said.
Cars lined the Dover International Speedway’s parking lot Wednesday, but not for the excitement of speeding race cars or the adrenaline from a concert.
“There are a lot of people out here passing out a lot of groceries. There are a lot of smiling faces out,” said Michael Curtis with the Delaware National Guard.
The Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry is fulfilling a need. Two dozen servicemembers joined forces with volunteers to distribute milk, cereal, fruits and other groceries to 2,500 households.
“It’s a good feeling. I love being a part of this. I love seeing the people go through. So many of them are so appreciative,” said Gwynee Hoffecker, with Adventist Community Services Disaster Response.
There’s a growing need in the state. Delaware usually pays about $1.5 million a week in unemployment. Last week, the state shelled out $30 million, an indicator of the dire need families are facing.
“All year long, the food bank is distributing food up and down the state through our network of food pantries, schools, community pop-up distributions. We’ll continue that work and look to see if we can schedule additional ones in May,” Turner said.
The next distribution will be Friday at noon at Sussex Central High School. They are expecting families to show up earlier. If they do, they will start the process ahead of time.