Since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, dozens of churches, organizations and community groups have hosted food giveaways to assist those in need. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Baltimore County graduate chapter led one such effort on March 13 on the parking lot of Liberty Court Shopping Center.
As part of the outreach initiative, billed as “We Care, Baltimore County,” fraternity members stood on Liberty Road with large signs, directing passing vehicles into a line to receive a box of fresh produce and other food items. Brothers and volunteers loaded the supply of 576 boxes, provided in partnership with Maryland Food Bank, into the vehicles.
“This tells us that there is a need,” said Alonzo Chester Sr., social action chair of the Theta Mu Mu graduate chapter. “One thing I realize is that disparities really fly under the radar. We want to make sure the community knows that we do care and we’re here to help.”
After doing a similar giveaway for the elderly and shut-in last fall with the help of his son, a Western Tech graduate and college student, Chester said he called on his fraternity brothers to expand the project
“We’re giving back because a lot of us grew up in some of these communities,” said Chester, who lives in Owings Mills. “We don’t do the service because we have to. We do it because we actually care. At some point someone cared about us also.”
David Patterson, president of the chapter, agreed. “It’s very important for us to give back to those in our community who are in need of a helping hand,” he said. “Those most in need don’t have the voice right now or the means to sustain themselves. With us doing our small part, it gives them hope and it gives them what they need. We hope at some point they will pay it forward to someone else.”
The date of the next food drive is Saturday, April 10, in the parking lot in the 8600 block of Liberty Road, where Randallstown Library is located. Distribution begins at 11 a.m. and will continue until supplies are gone.