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'Overwhelming' response ends Grand Rapids food distribution event hours early

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Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 12:16:30-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An event in Grand Rapids today to distribute food amid the coronavirus outbreak closed early due to an "overwhelming response."

The event was for low-income individuals and scheduled for 1-6 p.m. at a Kent County building in southeast Grand Rapids.

Hundreds of cars and the families inside lined up near Franklin Street.

By 2:30, the event was closed, according to the Kent County this afternoon.

People lined up in their vehicles were asked to stay in line.

Organizers established a "cutoff point" based on supplies and notified those still in line of the cutoff. The Grand Rapids Police Department helped with traffic control.

The staff of Kent County Community Action and more than 30 volunteers loaded up trunks with meat, grains, fruits, vegetables; on average 80 pound bundles of food.

Around 1000 families went home with bundles of food, but many others had to be turned away; an unfortunate reality that the demand for assistance is high.

“I’m glad we could help and meet the need because that’s what community actions do, it’s our mission so I’m so glad it worked out. I wish we had more.” Director Susan Cervantes said.