WARSAW – If you want to understand the demand for food right now in the era of coronavirus, the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds was a good starting point Tuesday morning, April 7.
Dozens and dozens of cars lined up along Smith Street and up to the fairground gates Tuesday morning for food being distributed by the Salvation Army of Warsaw.
The event began at 10 a.m., with nearly 500 boxes of food ready to go and within an hour, half of it had been distributed.
The effort is part of a program initiated by the Food Bank of Northern Indiana for emergency circumstances such as the pandemic that has swept across much of the world, according to the Salvation Army of Warsaw Administrator Ken Locke.
Locke said the distribution program will continue each week for the near future. Details are still being arranged, but a similar event will be held in Syracuse next week and at Tippecanoe Valley high school the following week.
Locke said most of the recipients were low-income families and elderly on fixed incomes.
Several people lined up for food were willing to share their circumstances with InkFreeNews.
Leslie Piazza was first in line. She showed up at 8:30, thinking the gates would open at 9 a.m., but laughed off the mistake.
Piazza was wearing gloves and a mask made by her daughter, Melissa Watson, and said she’s taking the pandemic seriously.
“I’m picking up for a family that has no car, no food. Nothing,” Piazza said. “It’s the least I can do.”
Jeff Haney, and his mother, Ginko, were in line and had two cute dogs in tow.
“I have cancer and my mom is diabetic. We try to stay home as much as we can,” Haney said.
He and his mother were both wearing masks. “It’s pretty scary and I wish people would take it more seriously instead of getting on Facebook and making jokes about it. I mean, people are dying from it,” he said.
He said he appreciated the effort by the Salvation Army.
“I’m so glad Kosciusko County is helping the people,” he said.
Donna Gaskin, of Warsaw, said she was picking up food for a family of eight.
“They need help and I need help,” Gaskin said as she waited in line.
Amanda Lent, a single mom stood in line with a red wagon to carry food home.
She said she’s unemployed, doesn’t have a car and has three children at home at their residence on Center Street in Warsaw.
“Nobody’s hiring right now. It’s really difficult. Three kids eat a lot.”