Overwhelming turnout for free food giveaway at DECC | www.WDIO.com

Overwhelming turnout for free food giveaway at DECC

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: February 25, 2021 06:36 PM
Created: February 25, 2021 05:46 PM

Food insecurity is something that continues to affect many families during these times of financial hardship and is why local labor union groups teamed up to host a large food distribution event Thursday at the DECC.

The event was put on by the Duluth Building & Construction Trades Council, Northeast Area Labor Council, and United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1189, in partnership with the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation.

There was traffic circling around the DECC hours before the distribution event started, shedding light to how events like this help in tremendous ways.

"We have a family of four that we feed and it's a great opportunity to get some stuff that we use every day for free," said Genevieve Teasley, an attendee from Superior.

"I have an 89-year-old dad that can't really get out and do things so I thought it would be good to come down and help him out," said Sharon Gerard, an attendee from Duluth.

The reality of how many people are in need in the community showed with traffic lined up on Railroad Street bright and early.

"I got here a little bit before eight and there was already a couple cars so we had to do the line early because they were backing up on the freeway," said Beth McCuskey, the president of the Duluth Central Labor Body.

Volunteers teamed up to distribute over 2500 food boxes. Each box was 30 pounds and had canned goods, fresh produce, dairy products, and more.

"With not working it's getting hard to be able to get food and stuff," said Gerard.

"It's important to have access to the food that you need. We are in the middle of a pandemic and so a lot of people are very limited," said Teasley.

Community members from all over showed up, saying how grateful they are for opportunities like this.

"It’s unbelievable it’s nice that people can do this," said Gerard.

Organizers of the event were taken back by the overwhelming amount of people who came, but happy to be able to contribute to something that's desperately needed right now.

"We're really really happy that the labor community could help because Duluth is very supportive of union labor and this is kind of our way to say thank you," said McCuskey

"I wish we could do more and give more. We are working on what we can and asking for how much they need and it feels great to be here," said Marcia Swanson, a volunteer representing Minnesota nurses.

The event wrapped up around 2:40 p.m. and organizers of the event said there was a small amount of food leftover that local food shelves picked up to distribute to those in need.  The trades said they're considering holding another distribution event in the future. 


Alejandra Palacios

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