PHOTOS: Prince George’s Co. turkey giveaway gives a bit of relief this Thanksgiving

Times are tough, and many wallets are taking a hit due to inflation pressures and increased food costs. Some found a bit of relief in a line of cars that extended down a stretch of Allentown Road in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Friday afternoon.

Folks waited and drove through the parking lot of Ebenezer AME Church for one of the county’s annual holiday food giveaway events. So many people showed up that the turkeys were already gone well before the event officially wrapped up at 4 p.m.


“I am eligible for food stamps, but my food stamps don’t last a month,” retiree Brenda Hayes told WTOP after she drove through the giveaway line.

Items included turkey, fresh vegetables and other staples to help ease the financial strain to keep food on the table.

Prince George’s County’s Office of Community Relations Director Euniesha Davis said the COVID-19 pandemic hit residents hard. Eventually, things started getting better, “but then with the inflation coming up, and just other costs and other things of life that come up, now you’re seeing more people say ‘hey, I need help, too,’” Davis said.

Victor Flores also waited in the long line. He told WTOP the turkey and other fixings are helpful for his family.

“We got a big turkey. I guess we’ll have a good Thanksgiving, now,” Flores said.

“This effort here is around addressing food insecurity,” said Landis Rush, UnitedHealthcare national vice president, Public Sector and Labor. He told WTOP that UnitedHealthcare purchased turkeys for the Stuff-A-Truck giveaway, but the behind-the-scenes work of securing them was a challenge due to inflation and the ongoing shortage.

“Not only have costs gone up per turkey, but you’re also dealing with the issue of bird flu … it’s been tough to get turkeys. We were fortunate this year to do it,” Rush said.

 

Meanwhile, Brenda Davis said she sees the giveaway as a blessing and plans to pay it forward.

“I’m going to share some of this food with my neighbors in need,” she said.

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