Hundreds of Starving People in Yakima Get Relief - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hundreds of Starving People in Yakima Get Relief

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YAKIMA, Wa.- In light of these tough economic times, volunteers and church members are helping feed more than 700 people in Yakima today.

In times like these, a bag of fresh fruit can go a long way, which is why people lined up outside of Grace Lutheran Church.

The Thrivent Homegrown Truck pulled up around 11 this morning. People started gathering more than an hour early. They stood outside in the cold, hungry and waiting for food.

"I've been gleaning fields and orchards anything like that...I even ask them in grocery stores for the produce that they throw away," said Lynn Henry.

Many of these people here told me they recently lost their jobs. Which is why so many of them showed up to today's event, all echoing the same message.

"I don't drive but once a month because I can't afford to, let alone going out and buying food," said Henry.

"Anything to put in our mouths would be good at this point," said Jose Mercado, who is currently unemployed.

"It's all we can get so it means an awful lot," said Randy Fortier, who recently lost his job.

Volunteers, elementary students and church members packed more than 10 thousand pounds of fresh fruit. For some of these people, the bags and boxes of fruit are the only foods they'll soon eat, helping them get by the next few weeks.

"This leaves me more money in food stamps for something else like milk.... Every little bit helps," said Henry.

And for others like José Mercado, who has a family to worry about, these bags are a sign of relief. He can feed his children tonight.

"It's a blessing," said Mercado.

"It's a Godsend," said Fortier. 

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