County Executive Alsobrooks directs $500,000 to Food Bank and $1 million to an emergency rental assistance fund
(LARGO, MD – April 23, 2020) – Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced today the County’s plan to address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, including more than $1.2 million in donations to the Capital Area Food Bank to support Prince Georgians and a continued partnership with World Central Kitchen and local businesses to provide hot meals and grocery deliveries to residents experiencing food insecurity. These efforts will support residents who have had a loss of income due to COVID-19, particularly the 47,000 residents who are now unemployed.
“As the COVID-19 crisis continues and unemployment rises, no one should have to worry about their food supply or where their next meal will come from,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “We will continue working with local businesses, non-profits, churches and other community partners to address the issue of food insecurity and ensure nobody goes hungry during these unprecedented times.”
The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) has put together a 90-day plan to serve the needs of the region during this pandemic and is ready to begin implementing that plan in Prince George’s County due to several generous donations in the last week. The CAFB has received $500,000 from Bank of America, $100,000 from the County Council, $100,000 from Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins, and $20,000 from the Prince George’s County Chapter of The Links, Inc. In addition, County Executive Alsobrooks directed $500,000 from Prince George’s County Government to the CAFB. All of these donations will go directly to feeding Prince George’s County residents in need.
“The County Council is an active partner in the County’s COVID-19 response, and we value the participation of our County’s nonprofit partners in meeting the needs of residents, particularly those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. As part of its annual budget process, the Council provides funding to support nonprofits in this critical work,” said Prince George’s County Council Chairman Todd Turner. “To date, 17 of these organizations have been supported by a total $500,000 in Council grants, including $100,000 each to two longtime nonprofit partners, the Capital Area Food Bank and Food & Friends, addressing food distribution needs during this crisis. Additionally, Council Members have worked alongside our community partners and volunteers across the County, to provide food to a growing community of Prince Georgians in need.”
The Prince George’s County Government has also been partnering with World Central Kitchen, the non-profit of chef Jose Andrés, since March 20 to provide meals at sites across the County. Since the partnership began, World Central Kitchen and the County have collaborated with local restaurants, like Sardis, to provide over 10-thousand meals to residents in communities across the County. This includes weekly food deliveries at Ebenezer AME, The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square and Community of Hope AME. Next week we will begin to serve Beltsville and Hyattsville, with plans to further expand throughout the County during this pandemic.
In addition to these partnerships, the County is working with a number of local businesses, non-profits and churches. Sardis has provided over 2,000 meals to residents in Mount Rainier and College Park, and they have started a grocery delivery program for some of our neediest residents in Hyattsville. Through churches and non-profits, the County has around 35 community food programs operating to distribute food to those in need. The County maintains a map of these food distribution sites that is updated weekly on its website, mypgc.us.
Over 30,000 residents have filed unemployment claims since the beginning of March, and many are now having trouble paying rent. To help alleviate this issue, County Executive Alsobrooks announced that she will direct $1 million to a rental assistance and emergency housing fund. The County will release information in the near future on the qualification criteria for this program and how to apply.
The County is still accepting donations from community members of PPE (gloves and masks), non-perishable food, paper products (toilet paper, paper towels), and baby items. Through the efforts of Community of Hope AME, local non-profit Dream Works, and local small business Team PMG, the County received a donation of 5,000 masks, 5,300 roles of toilet paper, 1,000 gloves and 100 hand sanitizers. The County’s Faith Based Advisory Board also donated more than 200 N95 masks to the Prince George’s County Police Department. Anyone wishing to make a donation should fill out a donation form online at mypgc.us/donatecovid19.
Finally, the County Executive announced a new option for residents to seek help from first responders. The County is in a soft launch of “text to 9-1-1,” which will allow residents to text 9-1-1 for help in the event they are not able to talk over the phone due to COVID-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, trouble breathing, and/or severe cough.
The County Executive also reminded residents to reach out for medical help as soon as possible if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, particularly Black men. Although Black men make up 29% of the County population, they comprise 45% of COVID-19 deaths, with multiple instances of Black men dying at home or from waiting too long to seek medical care. Furthermore, based on the latest data is in the County, men across all races have a higher mortality rate. Hispanic men represent 73% of deaths in that population, White men represent 82% of deaths among that population and Black men represent 62% of the deaths in the African American community.
Residents experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, fever and cough, can reach out to their doctor or our coronavirus hotline at 301-883-6627 if they do not have a primary care physician. In the event of a medical emergency, call or text 9-1-1.
For the latest COVID-19 updates from Prince George’s County Government, as well as fact sheets and infographics related to COVID-19, visit mypgc.us.