BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) -: On Saturday morning hundreds of families lines up at Renaissance on 9th in Bradenton to receive free food during a distribution put together by Meals on Wheels of Manatee and sponsors.
Many families that came out to this event say they’re grateful for it because they don’t have to make the tough decision between putting food on the table for their families or paying rent.
“If it wasn’t for this I don’t know how I would be putting food on the table,” Dorothy.
Manatee County resident Dorothy Madueno has to feed herself and five other people in her home, including her husband who’s unable to work. While they were able to make ends meet for a while 2020 threw them, like many others, a curveball.
“I’ve been out of work since April. They did away with my position,” said Madueno.
You guessed it, another victim of the unemployment crisis the shutdowns this pandemic has caused.
“I’m receiving unemployment but it’s not much, because I wasn’t making much,” said Madueno.
So this year, for the first time in her life Madueno had to seek help at food distributions like the one held on Saturday by Meals and Wheels Plus.
“I go to three of them a week because I have to in order to have enough food in the home," said Madueno.
For Madueno it’s a new way of living.
“It’s the only way we can do it and survive,” said Madueno.
Others in line on Saturday also had similar stories. One man tearfully told me without opportunities like this he would have no idea what to do to feed his family.
“This is out here to help,” Suncoast resident, Shanda Robinson.
Shanda Robinson and her friend were first in line. The event was Robinson’s first time at a free food distribution.
“I’m just in awe watching them unload,” said Robinson.
It takes a team to lift up a community during a tough year.
“It’s a great help to the community come and get it,” said Robinson.
With their trunks filled and grateful hearts the community looks ahead to the next event.
Editor’s note. ABC7 is proud to be a sponsor of this event alongside Bradenton Kiwanis, Mosaic and Carl Reynolds Law.