SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A line of people estimated in the thousands wrapped around Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco for an annual food giveaway Friday.

More than a thousand volunteers stuffed 5,500 bags full of groceries at the iconic locale in the city’s Tenderloin district.

The line at 330 Ellis Street was so long it actually had to be cut on Friday, but the Glide’s founder, the Reverend Cecil Williams, said they dipped into the Christmas food to make sure as many as possible didn’t go away hungry.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

“Take care of the people now and help them now,” the Reverend said. He added that they’re taking a chance. “Risk it, go ahead and do it. That’s what we’re doing,” he said.

Those in line were recent immigrants, the mentally ill, the homeless, and like William Gant – people who are just having a tough time like many, making ends meet.

“I’m retired from my job and my pension isn’t all that well and the rents in this city are kind of sky high. You have to be able to mince this and that,” Gant said.

Some people saw the grocery giveaway as an opportunity and could be seen down the block selling grocery bags for five dollars. One man admitted that after standing in line for hours that he was going to use the money for beer. The majority were simply grateful for food.

“I thank God and Glide for everything they do,” said one Tenderloin resident who needed help.

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