Florida families feel ‘blessed’ despite increased prices

Amanda Ramirez, a single mom from Deltona, reflects in a driver's side mirror as volunteers from the University High School National Honor Society load her truck with boxes of food at the Salvation Army food gift in DeLand, Saturday, November 20, 2021.

Deland – Amanda Ramirez, a single mother of a 9-year-old daughter, used to work in the Salvation Army food kitchen, so she struggled to put into words what she was feeling as she passed the helpline on Saturday.

“You have to go through this situation…it’s like a 360-degree situation,” she said. “I used to do the soup kitchen, so now I’m in line for help, it’s like…”

Her mother, Carmen Ramirez, completed her sentence: “It’s tough when you’re so independent… and you fill those cupboards with a good amount of groceries that you know will last until next month.”

They were among hundreds of people who waited in vehicles on South High Street on Saturday, a slow procession across the line at the Salvation Army in West Volusia County. They were given boxes of canned foods, butter, and other things before Thanksgiving.

Volunteers fill boxes with food at the Salvation Army food gifts in Deland, Saturday, November 20, 2021.

Salvation Army Captain Camilo Rojas said that unlike last year, this year he was unable to secure 500 turkeys.

The Department of Agriculture is reporting a 24% decrease in stock of frozen turkeys from the three-year average, and supply chain disruptions are making it difficult for stores to source turkeys.

So instead, the Salvation Army distributed $15 Walmart gift cards to put in turkey, pork, or another food item.

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