LA FERIA — The line of cars waiting to get free drive-thru groceries stretched down the road from the Commissioner Precinct 4 Warehouse since early in the morning, hours before the distribution was set to begin.

In an effort to help the elderly of the precinct 4 area, County Commissioner Gus Ruiz organized a food distribution event Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. until supplies lasted.

The COVID-19 relief food bags were a combination of a donations from the RGV Food Bank, Cameron County Emergency Management and private donors.

Although the food distribution was organized for residents 65 years and older, Ruiz said no one would be turned away.

Ruiz said two units of food were given per family, and the supplies were expected to help 500 families.

“One unit of food consists of a sack of canned goods and dried fruit, also a bag of a loaf of bread and some snacks,” Ruiz said.

This was the first pandemic help event organized by his staff, but he is hoping to have another one in the future, he said.

“It all depends if we get enough resources to contribute,” Ruiz said.

“Coronavirus has affected a lot of people at the local level, state level and in terms of economy, it has had such a big impact,” he said.

“A lot of people are unemployed and some are not receiving a paycheck. Here at the precinct, we try to do what we can for our constituents. We are in it together so we are going to get through it together,” Ruiz said.

Ida Diaz, of La Feria, was informed through social media about the grocery distribution.

Diaz said she has been to other donation events because of how much the pandemic has affected her family economically.

“We have custody of my granddaughter, and it is hard to keep up with food. My husband has not been able to work and me either,” Diaz said.

Her husband worked in Houston but has not been able to work. Diaz works in daycare and is currently not working.

“I got here a little bit before 9 and it only took me 20 minutes. I know it takes a lot of people to get these events together, and they need to be appreciated,” she said.