Current Disney employees start food pantry for cast members who lost jobs

Florida

WINDERMERE, Fla. (WESH) – Disney workers have taken hard hits throughout the coronavirus pandemic. There have been multiple announcements of layoffs over the past few months, but those still working are pitching in to help cast members who’ve been cut.

Emily Lartigue met with our NBC affiliate WESH 2 News on Thursday at a storage space in Windermere where the shelves are stocked with cereal, vegetables and other groceries.

They call it the “Cast Member Pantry,” and it started early in the pandemic when Lartigue and other Disney employees started gathering food to help those out of work.

“It kind of started out of my garage as accident. I didn’t really know what it was going to turn into,” Lartigue said.

It turned into a huge help for cast members. More than 15,000 Disney workers are being laid off in Central Florida because of the pandemic and Lartigue said that so far they’ve helped 8,000 people with bags of groceries once a month.

They’ve been trying to let cast members know about the pantry through social media, and word of mouth. There’s also been help from some big stars.

Josh Gad, voice of Olaf, from Frozen, was among those who’ve helped out, but most of the support has been local.

Anyone who wants to help can learn more here.

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