Hundreds in Austin enduring long lines as food demand increases

Long lines form outside of Austin grocery stores when the demand for food increases

HEBs open in the city close at 5 a.m. today, but these buildings stretched beyond the city limits while people waited in the cold.

Hundreds gathered in rows for grocery stores. Others waited for hours to pick up food or recipes. They tell me that they are trying to only achieve the essentials for the next few days.

“As long as I can eat in the next few days, that’s all I really need,” said Stephanie Arnold, who was waiting in line at HEB for food.

“We just need enough to get through the next few days,” said Arnold.

It was a simple but nerve-wracking request that many repeated.

“The fridge is empty right now and we’re just trying to get something to eat,” said Mitchell Rosen.

Arnold said she tried to prepare by going to the store early. “We went out earlier this week to eat enough what we thought was enough before the ice cream came,” said Arnold. “But I don’t think we got enough.”

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Since she lost power everything has been gone and now she has nothing.

However, it is not just food that people forego. One woman says she has been gone for more than a week without being able to get her prescription.

“It’s really frustrating because you keep trying,” said Jolie Royal.

She said she finally got a message that it was ready. But when she got to the store, she found that the pharmacist didn’t come in. So she can’t get it again.

“I’m in a lot of pain right now because I don’t have my prescription,” she said. “I don’t know what people are doing who really need it to survive.”

All over the city there were people waiting to get on wherever it was open –

“If there were just a few more important places they could open up, it would be a long way to go for people,” said Joshua Pittsinger.

He was waiting in line for food at Ihop, one of the few downtown restaurants that was open this morning.

“It was a little tedious to have lunch and dinner last night to get a little bit of the onslaught,” he said.

For the Regan League, she said she had run out of food, power, and options.

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Austin, Travis County officials have reported power outages

Almost 40 percent of Austin is still without power. Austin Energy said outages could last through Tuesday night, and possibly even longer.

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“We are almost out of food, which definitely increases our morale,” said League. “We had a few snacks, but we’ve been thinking about finding a restaurant since we found nothing was open yesterday.”

So for those who were in line on Tuesday … No matter where in town, the message was all the same; They just want to get through the next few days.

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