Thousands of people have lined up at a Texas food bank, with cars stretching for a mile as the state struggles with being the third worst affected state by the coronavirus outbreak.
Fair Park in Dallas County held its fourth food drive since the pandemic was declared in March but the event on Tuesday was the first mega distribution that offered an option for several hundred walk-up clients without transportation.
People traveled from the other side of the state to reach the North Texas Food Bank which fed 1,710 families.
'I actually live in West Dallas. But I came this far just to get the help,' Rene Hightower told CBS Dallas.
Images show vehicles weaving through parking lots as over 90 volunteers got to work distributing 10,000 boxes to feed 8,000 people.
The desperate long lines have emerged after almost 30 million Americans (about 12%) said in a census of 249 million respondents last month said that at some point before July 21 they didn't have enough to eat and about 5.4 million said they 'often' didn't have enough.
And they come against a backdrop of record unemployment figures. The number of continuing unemployment claims nationwide, including people receiving non-traditional benefits such as gig workers, was revealed on Thursday as being 28 million, down slightly from 31 million the week before. However new weekly claims for unemployment benefits fell below one million for the first time in five months.
Dallas County has recorded 55,787 cases of coronavirus and 794 deaths. In Texas there are 524,814 cases and 9,552 deaths. The positivity rate in Texas is 24.5 percent - the highest since the start of the pandemic.
Testing in Texas has dropped to its lowest level since June, with fewer than 35,000 new tests taken on Wednesday. Texas reported 6,200 new cases on Wednesday, down significantly from its peak in mid-July when there were several days with more than 10,000 new cases.
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Fair Park in Dallas held its fourth food drive since the pandemic was declared in March and the event on Tuesday and North Texas Food Bank fed 1,710 families
The offering included dairy, canned goods, noodles, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, rice, trail mix and some recipe ideas
It was their first mega distribution that offered an option for several hundred walk-up clients without transportation. About 70 walk-ups were served
Despite unemployment improving, the organizers said they ultimately haven't seen a decrease in the need for nutritious food because of the cut to benefits
New claims for jobless benefits dropped below one million for the first time since March
The new figures come after unemployment benefits were cut from $600 to $400 this month, however in some states the figure could be reduced to $300 if the local government doesn't fork out the $100 increment it's recommended to provide.
Texas is below the national rate of 11.1 percen for unemploymentt. In June, Texas saw a decrease in the state unemployment rate to 8.6 percent after adding 243,900 private sector positions the month prior. It was second consecutive monthly decrease and the lowest rate since March.
Food recipients joined the line before dawn, hours before the drive opened.
The offerings included dairy, canned goods, noodles, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, rice, trail mix and some recipe ideas.
One man came after his daughter heard about the event