Cars line up at drive-thru food pantry in Laurel

Volunteers hand out groceries for people in need at a drive-thru food pantry in Laurel, Maryland, March 27, 2021.

People lined up to pick up groceries at a drive-thru food pantry in Laurel, Maryland, March 27, 2021.

People lined up to pick up groceries at a drive-thru food pantry in Laurel, Maryland, March 27, 2021.

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A year after the start of the pandemic, financial hardship and food insecurity still have a grip on families in the D.C. area.

Cars with people in need lined up Saturday for a free bag of groceries at a drive-through food pantry in Laurel, Maryland.

“The first 150 cars that come through get a bag, hopefully that will help feed a lot of families — especially as we come up on the Easter season,” said Jimmy Williams, past grand knight, Knights of Columbus, Patuxent Council.

The cars lined up in a parking lot of St. Mary of the Mills Catholic Church, the sponsoring parish of the Knights Patuxent Council.

“We have chicken, ground beef, meatballs, pasta, spaghetti sauce — we also have produce as well,” Williams said. “Each car is getting about 20 pounds of groceries.”

The council partnered with the city of Laurel in conducting the drive-through.

“The need is very great,” Williams said, as knights and their family members loaded groceries into cars. “It spread like wildfire, particularly on social media, the city really helped us promote it.”

The council and the parish have seen a near doubling of orders for food in the past year’s time.

“There’s been a huge need that’s been brought on by the pandemic … the need is not going to go away for a while … we still need people to get back to work before the need subsides and we’re going to be here ready to serve others as long as that need exists,” Williams said.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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