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'It Was Devastating': Thousands Line Up At Brooklyn Center Food Drive

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - In difficult times, you can always find "The Helpers." They were out in full force on Saturday, connecting with the Brooklyn Center community.

Multiple food drives and donation drop-offs took place for those impacted by the boarded-up and temporarily closed down grocery stores.

One of the organized drives was put on by IBEW 292 in Brooklyn Park. It was a contactless drive-thru for those in need of a fresh meal right now. They had 1,300 free boxed-up meals of produce and milk jugs to give out. A long line of cars formed and wrapped around the IBEW 292 building Saturday morning.

Derrick Givens was one of the coordinators of this food drive-thru. He organized this as a way to put his pain into action.

"It was devastating, it was shocking to see another life lost, unnecessarily, at the hands of law enforcement," said Givens, "I get healing each and every time I go out into this community."

Rhonda Johnson Marn was among the volunteers packing cars with boxed meals and milk jugs.

"Being able to do something where you can actually do something physical to help people really is powerful," said Johnson Marn, who is also an English teacher at Brooklyn Center High School and has been helping them cope all week with the death of Daunte Wright.

"A lot of students who live near the police station have been losing sleep at night, some have had to be relocated temporarily. It's just been really hard on our kids," said Johnson Marn.

Brooklyn Center High School has been turned into a make-shift grocery store, serving those who live in the surrounding area, especially those who live close to the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

"Over the course of this week, we're served 8,000 families, yesterday alone we had 2,500 [people]," said Josh Fraser, the principal of Brooklyn Center Community Schools.

The high school has been operating this way since Monday, the day after Daunte Wright died, and the day the nightly protests started.

"A lot of people are scared to go out in public, everyone is nervous and on edge," said Langston Hall, a 16-year-old who just moved to the neighborhood and felt compelled to volunteer at the high school food bank when he saw how much his neighbors were hurting.

"I think it's so cool how many people are out here to help the community and everyone is coming together in rough times," said Hall.

Another drive-thru produce-box pick-up is happening next Saturday at Brooklyn Center High School.

The food bank at the high school is happening every day next week from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

They are in need of at least 80 volunteers a day. There's no sign up, just come by when you can and they will put you to work.

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