HALETHORPE (WJZ) — A chaotic turn of events today for the Maryland Food Bank as an act of charity unintentionally goes viral online. WJZ’s George Solis has more as many families went home empty-handed.
The Food Bank tells WJZ they estimate they were able to help out more than a thousand families with this event. Though for anyone that was turned away today to go to their website to find other locations near them that could offer help if they need it.
Hundreds tried their hardest to make it to Saturday’s Maryland Food Bank food distribution event in Halethorpe.
A traffic backup spawned through the power of social media.
“We were even going live on Facebook to let everybody know that the lines were long,” said Teresa Richardson, who was waiting in line for food for her family.
Unfortunately, any guarantee of securing anything during this giveaway dwindled once word got out online.
“Yeah, we are upset that it did get out we are trying to deal with it the best that we can and serve as many people as we can,” said Katie Beltz, with the Maryland Food Bank.
Food bank officials tell WJZ this is the third time they’ve held this event, and apparently it was the charm.
“People picked up the news and starting tweeting, and posting on their own, creating their own graphics with misinformation about what we were handing out,” said Meg Kimmel with the Maryland Food Bank.
Food bank officials said people began lining up as early as 5 a.m. for an event that wasn’t meant to start until 11 a.m. — a lot of it having to do with what was showing up online.
One tweet announced free groceries, when in reality it was fresh produce and frozen chicken being handed out
“It was long, but it was worth it,” said Melissa Gracey who was able to take advantage of the event to provide food for her family.
Others in dire need were left wondering where they’d go next.
“I’d have to go to one of my family members, my sister or my brother,”said event attendee Brenda Carter.