LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- People were lining up before the sun came up Tuesday morning at the Outlets of Little Rock.

The Drive-Thru Food Distribution event comes at a time when many families are struggling to pay their bills due to the pandemic.

Cars backed up along Interstate 430 Tuesday morning.

The bumper-to-bumper traffic stretched all the way into the Outlets of Little Rock.

“We were giving out food to those who right now are struggling because many have lost their jobs,” said Rhonda Sanders, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank.

The outlets offered their parking lot and partnered with the Arkansas Foodbank.

The turnout?

“Overwhelming,” Sanders said. “There’s an overwhelming need and this is happening all over the nation.”

Volunteers loaded boxes of food into hundreds of cars, some with multiple families inside.

“We handed out food to 840 families,” said Sanders.

The Foodbank provided each one with enough frozen and fresh food to make 40 meals.

They ran out of food in just an hour.

“There’s a huge need,” said Teresa Dean, General Manager of the Outlets of Little Rock. “We had to turn some people away.”

“When you have to walk to the line and tell those who were out of numbers and watch their face fall, you realize we have to do this again,” Sanders said.

Another big need right now is blood.

The outlets will host a blood drive with the Arkansas Blood Institute Saturday. The blood mobile will be in the parking lot from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Original Story:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- A drive-up food distribution hosted Tuesday by the Outlets of Little Rock in partnership with the Arkansas Foodbank ran out of food within the first hour of the event.

The event was scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., but the food ran out by 11 a.m., according to a comment from Arkansas Foodbank officials on their Facebook page.

According to a news release from the Outlets of Little Rock, “Each donation consists of three boxes (box of dry goods, box of produce and a box of frozen product) per family with enough items for approximately 40 meals”.

Outlets of Little Rock officials said it was a first-come, first-served basis and there was a maximum of two families per vehicle.

Our photographer captured this video of a line stretching down the interstate at the time the distribution event started.