Volunteers with five public safety agencies in Prince George’s County, Maryland, packed and distributed holiday food packages for families and seniors across the county on Monday.
Members of the police department, fire department, sheriff’s office, Department of Corrections and Homeland Security gathered outside the St. Joseph fire station to participate in the Bill Milligan Food Basket Program, which distributes 2,500 packages.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said the need in the county has increased, with the pandemic now stretching into its second year and some still suffering the effects of job loss or lower income.
“The organizations and nonprofits that regularly take care of our most vulnerable residents felt the strain of the added demand,” said Alsobrooks. “While we have made significant progress in returning to a sense of normal, there are families who are still feeling the weight of the pandemic’s impact.”
Leaders underscored how important the holiday food donation event is for volunteers and the public safety agencies they come from.
“It feels like this event has become the unofficial start of the holidays for us,” said Fire Chief Tiffany Green. “More than that, it is a reminder of the deep commitment to serve shared by our brothers and sisters in public safety.”
The program, now in its 37th year, is named for William “Bill” Milligan, a volunteer who spearheaded the holiday food giveaway until his death in 2019.
The boxes of food include whole chickens, carrots, apples, bread, mac and cheese and other food items to cook a full holiday meal. The boxes are being distributed at locations throughout the county, including to seniors living at the Emerson House, an assisted living facility in Bladensburg.