Tale of two Americas: Mile-long line of cars for a food bank snakes through a parking lot between two luxury Miami Beach hotels as need for help with groceries grows across the nation

Sunday, April 19, 2020
By Paul Martin

Floridian motorists lined up for hours to receive food in a parking lot sandwiched between luxury hotels
A food bank was distributing food inside a lot between the W and Setai Hotels in Miami Beach on Saturday
Elsewhere, long lines of cars were seen outside food distribution sites near Los Angeles and San Francisco
Near Atlanta, local residents waited to receive food from a food bank in College Park, Georgia
The Reverend Al Sharpton distributed food and masks to New Yorkers in the Harlem section of Manhattan

19 April 2020

A dramatic image taken in Miami Beach shows a long line of cars snaking around a parking lot surrounded by two luxury hotels as motorists wait to receive food from a food bank on Saturday.

The cars are seen forming a U-shaped line as they wait to receive food near the W Hotel and the Setai Hotel.

Both hotels are considered a favored destination for celebrities who visit Miami Beach. The W Hotel on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach charges at least $369 a night for a room. In normal times, booking a room at the Setai would set you back at least $550 a night, according to Trip Advisor.

The image is a stark reminder of the economic hardships that have befallen the state as tourism, the hospitality industry, and other key sectors of the economy have collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida’s unemployment rate shot up to 4.3 per cent in March, as coronavirus-induced closures of Florida’s theme parks, hotels and large numbers of businesses caused the highest levels of joblessness in almost two years.

It was a dramatic increase from the state’s previous month’s unemployment rate of 2.8 per cent.

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