Orange County

Anaheim Food Giveaway Serves 4,000 At Honda Center

That plan had to be adjusted in light of the enormous turnout.

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Officials with The Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County said they provided free food for at least 4,000 needy households Saturday at greater risk during the coronavirus, and are preparing to provide for another 6,000 homes next Saturday.

The food bank's CEO, Harald Herrmann, said he arrived at the Honda Center at 6:45 a.m. to prepare for a 7 a.m. debriefing, followed by 9 a.m. start time, with the operation expected to conclude at noon.

That plan had to be adjusted, however, in light of the enormous turnout.

"It is staggering at what I am looking at right now, about hundred cars snaking through a line like their waiting for a rollercoaster ride," Herrmann said. "As I pulled up into the parking lot I needed to post myself there and become traffic control. I did not leave my post for two hours."

So food distribution began at 7:30 a.m. and was expected to conclude at 2 p.m., he said.

"The demand that we are receiving for food is very sad, in a word," he said. "But we are also seeing the best of humanity at the same time. The volunteers and the Anaheim Police Department have been incredible. They (the police department) helped solved traffic problems on the fly."

Each vehicle that went through the drive-through food distribution service was given three bags of food -- a bag of potatoes, a bag of apples and a bag of mixed can goods, he said.

"These are shelf-stable foods that will supplement a family for a week -- until we see them again," Herrmann said.

And he expects to see them again next week, with at least 6,000 more expected next Saturday.

"Any donations, any dollar matters,'' he said.

To donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, go online at www.feedoc.org, or call 949-653-2900.

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