With inflation rising, 1k people lined up in hopes of getting a free box of food

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Inflation is rising, and many families are still struggling with pandemic-related losses. Saturday morning, even before the sun came up, people started lining up in Northwest Houston for a food giveaway.

"Every time we donate, we have thousands of people coming for pantries," said Guillermo Washington, the vice president of operations at El Rancho, the supermarket that organized the donation.

Organizers say people started lining up along W34th Street around 3 a.m. in hopes of getting a free box of food for the 8 a.m. distribution event.

"Since the pandemic started, a lot of people lost their jobs. We cater to the Hispanic community, so we are always here for them, explained Washington.

In the cold and wet weather, volunteers put food boxes in a thousand trunks. After some people waited in line for hours, the boxes had all been passed out within forty minutes.

Washington says the grocery store started giving back through the food giveaways earlier in the pandemic and has continued as the need remains.

"Since the pandemic started, we have given away thousands of pantries, but of course, now with inflation, people lost their jobs, it's even harder," said Washington.

Consumer prices are up 7.5% from January 2021 to January 2022. For people like Joe Castillo and his family, kindness like this goes a long way.

"El Rancho is helping out families. There are needs right now, so why not, you know? Gas prices are going to skyrocket, so they are giving a big help. They are doing great for the community," said Joe Castillo.

El Rancho says they plan to make another donation in a few months, likely in July, to help the community with a school supply donation.

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