Volunteers vow to keep pandemic food giveaways going in Prince George's County

FOX 5's Ayesha Khan reports on volunteer efforts to feed communities in need during the pandemic.

Volunteers in charge of a pandemic food giveaway that started as a temporary project last year in Prince George’s County have vowed to keep that effort going and continue supporting communities most in need.

The volunteers distributed 500 food boxes at Saturday’s Covid food give away in District Heights. And there was certainly no shortage of cars waiting. 

Just a year ago, members of the local chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. organized a similar giveaway for local families in Suitland.

The effort came in response to the sudden and massive job losses that resulted from the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic.

(Steven Walls/Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. President (Basileus) of Gamma Pi Chapter)

"We figured that this would be like everyone else like it was a temporary situation, but as the weeks and months went on, we found out that the need for food all over the metropolitan area, but specifically in Prince George’s County was great," said Steven Walls, president of the Gammi Pi chapter of Omega Psi Phi.

So to mark the one-year anniversary, community leaders and fraternity members decided to give away more food.

That effort included bags and boxes full of bread, apples, milk, yogurt and plenty of other food.

The giveaway happened in the parking lot of Suitland High School. School principal Dr. Ronald Hollis knows first hand how the need for food is even more prevalent within many of his own students.

"During the pandemic we know of a lot family members who lost their jobs, and there’s been a lot of deaths in our community and those things have affected how the students are eating and the types of things that are brought to the home for them to eat," Hollis said.

Throughout the pandemic, the 200-member chapter has been partnering with several other local charities to plan and lead weekly food giveaways to families suffering economic loss due to the pandemic. That means the fraternity has helped feed more than 60,000 Prince Georgian families so far. 

Organizers say they had no idea they would be doing this for the long haul—-but that’s why they are here until the job is finished.

"We are going to do this for as long as we have the resources and as long as we are alive, we are still going to be out here," Walls said.