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First Coast food pantries see triple the demand during COVID-19

The director of Global Capital Relief says the need for help went from 125 families every month before the pandemic to more than 400 last year.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Global Capital Relief has been feeding Duval County for more than 30 years and the past 12 months have proved to be one of the most difficult but rewarding.

"You don't have to be Superman.  You just have to be caring," explained Jose Bosque.

He is on the frontlines making sure people are getting fed. Before COVID-19, 125 families came knocking each month. That number has more than tripled.

"The sky fell out and it was more like 400 families," Bosque told First Coast News.

That overall increase also includes senior citizens who Bosque says have become dependent on him delivering food with many homebound.

"They don't have an automobile.  They don't have a lot of relatives that can go and take care of them on a regular basis. So, they've never ever requested for food. Now, they are finding themselves in trouble. They don't have anything to eat," he said.

Food distribution is even going mobile. Lutheran Social Services fed more than 600 people on Friday during its first of the year drive-thru giveaway at its Phillips Highway location.   

Bosque says he doesn't see a slow down anytime soon and predicts longer lines and hungrier stomachs. "We are doing everything we can with everything we got."

If you would like to donate to Global Capital Relief, you can send a check to Global Capital Relief located at 1030 Baisden Road Jacksonville, FL 32218.

Lutheran Social Services will hold three more mobile food pantry giveaways on March 19, April 16 and May 21 from 10 a.m.- 12 p.m. at 4615 Phillips Highway. 

Credit: Lutheran Social Services

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