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This Georgia food drive is seeing more people in need from coronavirus’ brutal economic toll

(CNN) #atlanta-ga -A monthly food drive in DeKalb County near Atlanta is seeing more and more hungry families in need as Covid-19 has shaken Americans’ health and economics.

Delores Rich, who relies on her retirement income, arrived for the food drive at 7 a.m. — three hours before it began — to ensure her spot in line.

Rich was among 700 people who came to this Dekalb County food drive on Saturday in need of food for themselves and their loved ones.

In June, food banks nationwide were serving almost 60% more clients on average compared to last year, according to Feeding America , a network of 200 food banks across the US.

These broader economic struggles could be seen in Dekalb County on Saturday.

Michael Thurmond, the Dekalb County CEO, said he hasn’t seen this many people show up for a food drive since the pandemic began.

He said he had not been to a food drive before the pandemic.

Tania Larkins said she thought of food drives differently before needing it herself.

Tania Larkins similarly said she hadn’t been to a food drive prior to the pandemic.

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black said that business has been rough for the food bank’s suppliers, too.

With Black next to him, Thurmond, the Dekalb County CEO, said the food bank was a bipartisan effort.