PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office is partnering with local community groups to ensure families have the food they need amid the coronavirus pandemic. Eyewitness News was at the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Center on Saturday afternoon for the food giveaway.
Caring For Friends, Laborers Local Union 57, Muslims Serve and the Black Male Community Council teamed up with the sheriff’s office to make it happen.
“We know that families need food, especially when you’re out of work and you don’t have money to buy food so we partnered with Caring For Friends to basically give food to the communities that need,” Sheriff Rochelle Bilal said.
Families received boxes filled with food and fresh produce.
Future food distribution events are planned to support people through the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania health officials Saturday announced 813 additional COVID-19 cases to bring the statewide total to 118,092. There are 7,313 deaths being assigned to the coronavirus, officials said. Sixteen deaths were reported on Saturday.
Officials reported that Philadelphia saw an increase of 146 coronavirus cases.
“As the state has put in place targeted mitigation efforts to offset recent case increases, we must renew our commitment to protecting against COVID-19 by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and following the requirements set forth in the orders for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvania has been a model for the country on how to reopen effectively using a careful, measured approach. However, we know the virus has not gone away as we see cases rise, so we must work together to stop another surge.”
On Thursday, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley asked residents to answer any phone calls coming from a 215-218-XXXX number — that means a contact tracer is trying to contact you.
Farley said if you get COVID-19 and don’t want to have to inform people yourself, the contact tracers will do it for you confidentially.