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A county resident enjoys some of the free produce available at the event.

In order to boost nutrition for local families and children in Prince George’s County, Md. the charity Gleaning For The World along with several government departments pledged to give out one million meals per year for three years to fight hunger.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, Milt and Lauren Peterson from the Peterson Family Foundation, County Council member Obie Patterson (D-District 8) and Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO, Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell came together at Fort Foote Baptist Church in Fort Washington, Md. on Nov. 13 to announce one of the sites that will help distribute food to families.

The pledge was made with the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services, Department of Family Services, the Prince George’s County Public Schools, the Peterson Family Foundation and the National Harbor.

“If we are going to see substantive changes in our communities that have significant economic, health, public safety and educational challenges, I think it’s clear that we need to address all elements of residents’ lives,” Baker said in a news release.  “Hunger and nutrition are two critical elements.  Once again, to have a partner like the Peterson Companies and National Harbor step up in such a significant way is a great example for other businesses and individuals in our community.  Prince George’s County thanks Milt Peterson and the Peterson Family Foundation for demonstrating their commitment to our communities and our families.”

Much of the food distribution will be targeted toward the six communities in the county that are part of the Baker’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative. Those six communities are East Riverdale/Bladensburg, Glassmanor/Oxon Hill, Hillcrest Heights/Marlow Heights, Kentland/Palmer Park, Suitland/Coral Hills and Langley Park.

Maxwell said he believes targeting hunger among county families and children will have a great impact on students in the classroom.

“The research is quite clear that hunger and poor nutrition have a real impact on children’s ability to learn,” Maxwell said in a news release.  “We look forward to leveraging our partnerships with county agencies to best identify the families that need these resources the most.”

“Between the slow economic recovery and cutbacks in federal spending over the past few years, there remain many families in Prince George’s County who continue to struggle with basic needs like food and proper nutrition,” said Rev. Joseph W. Lyles, pastor of Fort Foote Baptist. “This type of long-term commitment and the fresh produce that will be a substantial part of each delivery will make a real difference in the lives of many families and children.”

Peterson said, “Under County Executive Baker’s leadership, Prince George’s County is making such a remarkable upward journey, and we are proud to make another investment in his vision.”