Members of the Psi Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority planted 1,908 potatoes to be harvested and donated this fall. (Courtesy Photo)

“Serving the community is our priority, we strive to meet the most pressing needs of people and families in our service areas of Laurel, Bowie, and Greenbelt.”

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. and Digital Editor
mgreen@afro.com

Members of the Psi Epsilon Omega (PEO) chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority are working hard this summer in order to make a huge difference in their community this fall with their “1908 Potato Gardening Harvest,” project.

Based in Prince George’s County, PEO plans to combat food insecurity in the area by planting 1,908 potatoes that will be harvested this fall and given to local families in need.

“The purpose of this initiative is to grow and harvest healthy and nutritious potatoes to fight against food insecurity in Prince George’s County,” said Benita A. Swindell, Psi Epsilon Omega President. “We want to plant and harvest 1,908 potatoes to donate to a local food pantry in September or October (depending on our growing schedule).”

Further the number of potatoes directly correlates with the history and legacy of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.  

“1,908 potatoes is significant because the sorority was founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.,” Swindell explained.

Members Psi Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority planted potatoes to help food-insecure families in Prince George’s County. (Courtesy Photo)

The chapter is using an 8×8 plot at the Bowie Community Garden Center for planting the crop and estimates that it will take between 75 to 115 days to grow the potatoes, which, according to a PEO press release, is a low-maintenance process.

While many gardening and almanac sites say potato growing can begin in early April in climates such as that found in Prince George’s County, Gardener’s Path, indicated that potatoes can be planted in “a summer crop for a fall harvest,” as PEO plans to do.

In addition, PEO felt potatoes would be a great crop to donate to families in need because of its long shelf life.

Food insecurity is an issue that the Psi Epsilon Omega Environmental Justice Subcommittee chose to tackle and is the reason why PEO is taking action to address the challenge facing Prince Georgians.  

The potatoes will be donated to Elizabeth House, an organization that serves the homeless and working poor located in Laurel, Maryland.

“Serving the community is our priority, we strive to meet the most pressing needs of people and families in our service areas of Laurel, Bowie, and Greenbelt,” Swindell explained. “Eventually we hope our potato harvest is going to multiply and feed plenty.”

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Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor