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Credit: OrlandoSentinel.com

Long Lines at Food Bank For Furloughed Disney Cast Members & Others Currently Unemployed

Orlando is known as the “tourism capital of the world”. While COVID-19 numbers are showing a decline in the state, the pandemic has without a doubt rocked the tourism industry as the usual crowds simply aren’t flocking to the area as they were before. A local food bank with a 2-mile long line is a sign of the times.

As shared by the OrlandoSentinel: At 4 a.m., the first furloughed workers arrive to stake out their spots for free groceries. They wait for 4 1/2 hours in their cars. If they show up late, the food might run out. By the 9 a.m., the nearly bumper-to-bumper row of cars stretches 2 miles, clogging up one lane of Orange Blossom Trail and heading down Landstreet Road.

Credit: OrlandoSentinel.com

In the line are hundreds of people: Furloughed Disney World employees, welders who saw business shrivel up, hotel workers unceremoniously laid off in mass numbers, and others.

Every week for the past four months, volunteers have handed out free boxes of groceries at the drive-thru food bank organized by Unite Here 737, a local union that represents primarily Disney hotel housekeepers and food service workers.

 

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“Every week it gets worse,” said Nick Canturano, a furloughed server at a Hollywood Studios buffet restaurant, who volunteers every week at the outdoor food bank located at a union hall about a mile from the Florida Mall.

Credit: OrlandoSentinel.com

The $600 federal unemployment benefit Floridians had been collecting each week vanished July 31, so now the state’s benefit — one of the lowest in the country — only pay a maximum of $275 a week.

The reopening of Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando theme parks have not fixed Orlando’s economy which recorded a 15.3% unemployment rate in July — the highest in the state.

Source: OrlandoSentinel

About Mike and Jamie Sylvester

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with Disney Vacation Club and RunDisney events in particular. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire a magic band of every style while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 16 years and are blessed with a daughter and a son who have already learned the importance of planning ahead! As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.