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Coronavirus news and updates about the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

'They're Desperate': Belmont Food Distribution Draws Lines Of Traffic

Kevin Jonas Sr. says he worried when he asked Convoy of Hope to come to Belmont to help people hurt by the coronavirus shutdown.

Jonas is owner of Nellie’s Southern Kitchen. He says he’s frequently worked with the national faith-based relief group, which said it would bring 30,000 pounds of food, cleaning and hygiene supplies to hand out from 9 a.m. to noon.

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Credit ANN DOSS HELMS / WFAE
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WFAE
Kevin Jonas Sr. says he went from worrying about too few takers to worrying about running out of supplies.

Jonas feared there wouldn't be enough takers in this city of about 12,000 people just west of Mecklenburg County. His backup plan was to give unclaimed supplies to local charities.

That proved unnecessary. Jonas showed up before 7, and people in need were already there.

"They were lined up not only down Main Street but the side streets, waiting to get in and circling until they closed the road," he says.

Before the first hour was up, cars had lined up for more than a mile, from downtown to I-85, as volunteers from Elevation Church hustled to load boxes into trunks.

By 10:15, there was bad news:

"We’re truly sorry, but we just ran out of everything," volunteers told people still lined up.

Jonas says the turnout was both inspiring and sobering.

"I’m watching servers that can’t find baby formula. People that can’t find basic supplies," he says. "And typically with a bedroom community of Charlotte you wouldn’t assume there are this many people that are desperate. But they’re desperate."

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