33K pounds of food distributed in New Rochelle residents affected by coronavirus

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As New Rochelle faces food shortages due to coronavirus restrictions, 33,000 pounds of food is being handed out in the city.

Volunteers on Friday sorted through donated food from Stop & Shop.

"One of the greatest concerns that we've had is how are we going to feed this community? Because we anticipated the need is going to be greater," said Hope Community Services Executive Director Walt Ritz.

The meals are for seniors who are unable to leave their homes because of the coronavirus, and families impacted by shuttered schools.

MORE: A list of area schools and universities closed amid COVID-19 outbreak

"This has been an enormous relief and a really a Godsend," Ritz said.

Volunteers who sorted and packed the items say they feel good helping out a community in need.

"I saw this on Facebook last night and I know that some kids that I know are going benefit from this. I want to be a part of it," said New Rochelle teacher Mary Claire.

All the normal volunteers for Hope Community Services are up in age, so the organization asked the regulars to stay safely home and put out a call for help that was answered without question.

"It's great the gratitude that I get from knowing I’m helping other people out and provide food for those less fortunate. Feels good," said New Rochelle resident Howard Gray.

"A good friend told me it was happening, and I wanted to come help out for people that are not going to have food," said Audrey Hill, another New Rochelle teacher.

Another distribution is set for Monday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The food is only for New Rochelle residents.

Hope Community Services says Councilwoman Martha Lopez was instrumental in connecting them with Stop & Shop. The company is apparently ready to donate more food to the pantry if its needed.

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