Foodbank gives food to hundreds of families Tuesday afternoon

Hundreds of vehicles lined up on Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, for the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Hundreds of vehicles lined up on Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, for the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Cars started lining up Tuesday long before the Dayton Foodbank began distributing boxes of food to those in need. At one point, the cars waiting to get into the Dixie Twin Drive-In at 6201 N. Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp. stretched half a mile in both directions.

Lauren Tappel, a spokesman for the Foodbank, said food needs have slowed to what they were in the spring of 2020, but are still very high in the Dayton region.

Aaron Fields loads boxes of food into a SUV Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, during the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Aaron Fields loads boxes of food into a SUV Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, during the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

“Things have stabilized quite a bit since the start of the pandemic, but it’s still an elevated need when we compare to how we were doing prior to both the tornadoes and pandemic events,” she said.

Tappel said at the last mass Foodbank distribution at the Dixie Drive-In in June, they served around 515 families, about 300 of which had never been to a mass food drive before. The Foodbank expected at least 500 families to be served on Tuesday.

She said there is also high need in the Harrison Twp. area since the 2019 tornadoes, which hit that area hard. The pandemic was a second hit.

At the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, she said the Foodbank would see around 750 families at its weekly distributions. Now, it’s between 150 to 200 families.

The Foodbank partnered with CareSource and Dayton Children’s Hospital volunteers for the event. COVID-19 vaccinations were also available for free at the site.

Kamilla Mamedova helps loads vehicles on Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, during the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Kamilla Mamedova helps loads vehicles on Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, during the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The boxes were loaded with chicken, fresh produce, bananas, corn, grain and dry goods. People popped the trucks of their cars or opened the side doors so volunteers could stack boxes inside.

Virginia Fitzpatrick was one of the people in line waiting for a box of food. She said she has several neighbors who are elderly or who don’t drive.

“I know a lot of people who need food, so I share with neighbors who can’t get out,” she said.

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While there were several families in the line of people waiting for food distribution, there were also many people with handicapped signs as well as elderly people.

Ashtyn Grabtree, left, and Bridgett Hobbs load food into the trunk of a car Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, during the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Ashtyn Grabtree, left, and Bridgett Hobbs load food into the trunk of a car Tuesday Aug. 16, 2021, during the mass drive-through food distribution at the Dixie Twin Drive-In hosted by The Foodbank. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Tappel noted that there are everyday problems that could impact a family’s food budget, such as daycare, electric bills higher than normal due to the summer heat, back-to-school expenses or medical bills.

Vehicles line up to enter the Dixie Drive-In for The Foodbank's mass food distribution Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Vehicles line up to enter the Dixie Drive-In for The Foodbank's mass food distribution Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

“Any individual or family that lives on a fixed income can face impossible choices between paying for rent, utilities, medications, or other necessities and paying for food,” she said.


How to volunteer

Volunteers are still needed for future events. To donate or volunteer, go to https://thefoodbankdayton.org/.