Orlando food pantries see demand spike amid coronavirus outbreak

Chrystal Kroll says the coronavirus shutdowns have hit her pocketbook hard.

“Because of the coronavirus I've lost over 3/4 of my income,” she said. “I was a bartender and suite attendant for arenas and stadiums. Without sporting events, entertainment, mass gatherings, there's no work for me.”

On Wednesday, she was at One Heart for Women & Children, an Orlando nonprofit, for food. The staff brought the food out to her car but it didn't used to be this way. The coronavirus forced the staff here to change their procedures. Clients could walk inside and pick what they wanted. Now, they were being asked to stay in their vehicles and the workers would bring the food out to them. It was all part of social distancing, which officials say is important to keep the virus from spreading.

“We're stopping them, let them stay in their car, we take the intake information and take the food out to them, put it in their car and they're on their way,” said Doug Bedle, with One Heart for Women & Children.

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Bedle said the coronavirus impact has changed many things. First, it already tripled the number clients they had. Next, it had stopped them from holding any fundraisers.

“We cancelled 10 of those because of the conventions aren't coming. So that's $26,500 for next month's budget that's not gonna be here,” Bedle said. "We're just trying to do our best, help the community, and work together during this crisis.”


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