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No Parade For Wilmington's 41st Annual Labor Day. This Year Organizers Are Giving Away Food

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L.A. Food Bank is among the organizations supporting the Labor Day food giveaway in Wilmington (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Labor Day is usually a cause for big public gatherings in Los Angeles. But this year the pandemic has made the usual festivities impossible. So local labor unions are shifting gears.

The annual Labor Day Parade and Picnic in Wilmington usually has a big turnout. Organizers estimate that 15,000 people showed up last year.

But for the first time in 41 years, the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition is canceling the annual event due to public health concerns.

Instead, the organized labor group plans to mark Labor Day by distributing food to people who’ve lost their jobs.

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  • The goal is to feed 3,500 families.
  • Organizers say the event will be drive-through only in order to ensure plenty of social distancing.
  • Recipients can pull up, pop their trunks, and volunteers will load them with groceries.

“We didn't plan this last year, but things have to change in this country,” said Chairman Larry Barragan. “This year, we're going to actually feed people. It's going to be different.”
At a time when unemployment in L.A. County has soared to nearly 18%, Barragan said Labor Day has taken on a new meaning. The job losses have been especially high among union members in the hotel industry and those connected to local airports.

Food distribution will take place on this morning from 9 a.m. to noon at Banning Park in Wilmington.

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