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United Center Now Home To Nearly 400 Tons Of Food Stored By Greater Chicago Food Depository

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The scoreboard is dark, and the stands are empty, but the floor at the United Center is packed end-to-end, filled with nearly 26,000 boxes of food.

Last week, the Greater Chicago Food Depository began using the stadium as a storage site, to alleviate space in its own warehouse. Now, the floor at the United Center is completely filled, with 640 pallets of food, totaling 774,840 pounds.

Using the United Center as a warehouse is allowing volunteers at the Food Depository to practice social distancing while putting together food boxes at their own facility. Those boxes will be distributed to those in need through the Food Depository's various partners.

The stunning image provides a rare look at the United Center. Not a single person in the arena, but not an empty spot on the floor where the Bulls and Blackhawks normally play.

Last month, the teams agreed to turn the stadium into a logistics hub to help government officials respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The United Center also is being used for food storage and collection of medical supplies.

Nearly two weeks ago, Project C.U.R.E. hosted a personal protective equipment drive in the United Center parking lot. Volunteers set up giant boxes for people to drop off items such as gloves, masks, and face shields.

In all, organizers said they collected 13 pallets full of supplies. Those supplies will now be distributed to healthcare providers across the state.

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