DENVER (CBS4) — The Food Bank of the Rockies and the Denver Broncos hosted a mobile pantry Monday that was the largest distribution in the history of the nonprofit. Using at least three refrigerated trucks, a team of volunteers distributed grab-and-go food boxes for 3,500 families.

“This is tremendous for us. It’s a lot of help for food, cause we can’t go to work now, nobody can,” said a woman from Sheridan.

(credit: CBS)

The mobile food pantry operated all day in the parking lot outside Empower Field at Mile High. Boxes included a mix of fresh produce as well as non-perishable items. Initially, the food bank had 2,000 boxes ready with each able to feed a family of four for the week. But in the middle of the day, they adjusted to the response and got an additional 1,500 boxes to keep giving out food into the afternoon.

“So many people in our community are finding themselves in need of food assistance,” said Erin Pulling, CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies. “All of sudden they are without a paycheck and having to choose between food and other essentials like rent.”

Mobile food drives are a popular way to help those in need but COVID-19 creates an additional challenge for distribution. Modifications needed to be made so that social distancing could be practiced as much as possible. Volunteers covered their face while loading the trucks and back seats of vehicles. Cars entered the parking lot and exited with people staying in their seats and behind the wheel the whole time.

(credit: CBS)

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A line formed on the streets feeding into the parking lot in all directions. A third of the people reaching out to the food bank have not asked for help before the pandemic.

“Oh more than grateful, very grateful, this will make and break it every time, anytime,” the woman said to CBS4 from her inside her car.

Families still looking for food can reach out online and the nonprofit can always use financial support with cash donations.

LINK: Food Bank of the Rockies