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More than 800 food boxes given away in Sioux City

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- Long lines filled the parking lot at Sunnybrook Community Church in Sioux City Thursday. Hundreds of families lined up hours ahead of time for a drive-thru food giveaway.

The Hope Center and the Community Action Agency of Siouxland teamed up for one last drive-thru food giveaway. The groups held several of these during the pandemic, thanks to the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

The program, sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture was started to help combat challenges created by the pandemic, looking to make an impact for those experiencing food insecurity.

"A lot of people being out of work, and myself being disabled, couldn't afford to go places," said Michele Wolfe, a Sioux City resident. "I'm a diabetic and getting the fresh produce is really going to help, because it's expensive in the stores now, with gas prices going up, you've got food prices going up just to compensate it."

It's something she said is hard to see go. That's because she said some people are still dealing with the impact of the pandemic.

The Farmers to Families Food Box Program is set to end on Monday. One volunteer said it's been great to see the impact these food giveaways have, first-hand.

"Joy," said Leslie Parker, Hope Center Volunteer. "It's pure joy to hear the people, have them bless you, thank you, just to be there for them. It's heartwarming."

Parker said she feels like it's important to be there for people. But she's thankful that the Hope Center will continue offering assistance to those in need.

USDA officials are ending the program because they say that the environment today is much different than when this program was created at the beginning of the pandemic.

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Michaela Feldmann

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