F E AT U R E
Randolph Bracy f SERVING HIS COMMUNITY, ONE MEAL AT AT TIME
I’ve fielded so many calls from unemployed people, and I just decided that we’re going to do as much as possible to try to fill in the gap until our economy gets back to where it needs to be.
112 | INFLUENCE SUMMER 2020
As millions of Floridians have filed for government assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Randolph Bracy has helped bridge the gap for his constituents with a series of events to distribute food to those in need. Bracy has been active on the unemployment front, pushing the state to increase benefits for those out of work. In the meantime, Bracy has hosted a half-dozen food distribution events to help feed those impacted by the economic slowdown. “I felt the need,” Bracy said after weighing the impact of the outbreak. “I’ve fielded so many calls from unemployed people, and I just decided that we’re going to do as much as possible to try to fill in the gap until our economy gets back to where it needs to be.” The first of those events was April 3 in Orlando, just after the pandemic began to take hold around the state. Then came another event in Orlando on April 24 at Experience Christian Center. Bracy also partnered with Farm Share for events in Gotha and Zellwood. His most recent food distribution took place in Bracy’s home of Ocoee at Ocoee Elementary School on July 16. “We’ve seen lines for blocks,” Bracy said of the demand he has encountered since April because of the pandemic. “It’s definitely hit some people hard, and once we started to see the reaction, then we just decided we’re going to keep doing them.” Bracy is one of several lawmakers throughout the state who have looked to serve the community during this time of need. Those food distributions have been drive-thru only in order to comply with social distancing guidelines set by the state. Each individual event typically provides enough food to feed more than 500 families. Items available include bread, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, juice and water. Bracy said he worked with Farm Share before the pandemic and typically participated in about two of these a year. Now, he says there’s no end in sight for the ongoing charity work. “At this point, we’re going to keep going indefinitely.”