Hundreds of cars lined Ruben Torres Boulevard on Friday morning to receive food bundles organized by United Way of Southern Cameron County in collaboration with several local coalitions in an ongoing action to address rising food insecurity.

Staff at the event planned to distribute around 1,200 bundles of produce and nonperishable foods. The bundles contained canned and dry goods, as well as produce sourced from local farmers by The Brownsville Wellness Coalition.

Officials guided cars through a winding line at The Brownsville Event Center’s parking lot when distribution began. Workers moved quickly, directing residents to open their trunks, park, and continue down the line once the bundles were safely inside.

The event began at 8 a.m., allowing two hours of distribution before the rain picked up. City of Brownsville, United Way of Southern Cameron County, Brownsville Community Foundation, Foodbank RGV Inc., Brownsville Wellness Coalition, and UT Health School of Public Health sponsored the event.

 

Veronica Dimas-Rosenbaum, director of the Brownsville Wellness Coalition, said workers, many of whom where hired on after losing their jobs at local restaurants, have distributed over 10,500 bags since the United Against Hunger initiative began in late April, but staff is getting harder to source as Texas becomes a coronavirus hotspot.

Organizers throughout the community are still working to fill gaps where aid is missing. “Brownsville Wellness Coalition hosts two small distributions throughout the week,” Dimas-Rosenbaum said, explaining that the need for food in the community is still present, and will more than likely worsen as cases spike.

“We’ve targeted 13 locations throughout the city. Times are hard and it seems like people this is getting better, but it’s getting harder at the same time because now people are having to go back to work, but kids are still at home. There’s a lot of need for food.”