Thousands of families impacted by COVID-19 receive free food at Jacksonville Fairgrounds

Thousands of families are getting a helping hand thanks to a partnership between the Jacksonville Fair and Farm Share.

Families started lining up Thursday morning to get free food. At one point the line was wrapped around the fairgrounds hours before it opened.

Action News Jax’s Alicia Tarancon spoke to families impacted by COVID-19 who say this food distribution service was a blessing just in time for the holidays.

According to Farm Share, 65,000 pounds of food were handed out to at least 2000 families.

Elizabeth Huff, a mother of two, was one of the people waiting in the drive-thru line.

“It’s just hard right now to provide for our kids and buy food and pay bills. COVID has really just done a number on the whole community,” said Huff.

Organizers with the Jacksonville Fair and Farm Share spent the morning packing up cars with boxes of milk, chicken, fruits and veggies.

The fair was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, but organizers still wanted to do something to help out the community, so they partnered with Farm Share and put together this distribution.

Because of COVID-19, Huff’s husband lost his job, and it’s been challenging trying to pay for her daughter’s diabetes medication.

“Without this you know it’s making a choice between food or insulin, and without her insulin she can’t live,” Huff said.

Huff told Tarancon a food distribution service like this can go a long way, especially in time for the Thanksgiving holiday next week.

“This has been a very big blessing,” Huff said.

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