Free groceries will be distributed at some Prince George's County libraries in May and June through the county's new Community Health Worker in the Library program.
The program, which aims to advance health and food equity, is the product of a partnership between the county library system and and health department.
“Health equity is one of the most important priorities in public health today and is a top priority for the health department,” County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter said. “This great partnership with our county library system is just another way that we are shifting the narrative, focusing on systems and social structures, and amplifying the significance of community health workers in improving health outcomes for Prince Georgians.”
Groceries will distributed once or twice a week, indoors. About 100 bags of groceries will be available each week and will be distributed at a first-come, first-serve basis.
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Face masks are required for all visitors, including children over age 2.
"This is a wonderful way for us to involve ourselves in the community," said Andrea Thomas, the branch manager at New Carrollton Branch Library. "It’s too bad that in a country like this we have insecurity with food, but if we can be a part of the solution, then I’m glad I’m in a library."
Shirali Jan, who visited the library on Wednesday to pick up food for his family recently fled to the U.S. from Afghanistan.
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"It was not good there, and then the situation was bad and it was dangerous," Jan recalled. "We worked with the U.S. military, that’s how we came here, and now it’s good here."
Public health workers will be available during distribution events to answer questions about health-related resources and services. KN95 masks and COVID-19 rapid tests will be available.
Here’s when and where you can pick up free groceries if you need them:
- Hyattsville Branch Library - Tuesdays, 12:30-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Largo-Kettering Branch Library - Tuesdays, 12:30-5 p.m.; Wednesdays, 12:30-5 p.m. This library will only host distributions in May.
- New Carrollton Branch Library - Wednesdays, 12:30-5 p.m.; Thursdays 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Spauldings Branch Library - Tuesdays, 12:30-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Upper Marlboro - Wednesdays, 12:30-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
For additional details and event information, visit the county library system's website here.