Melwood Donates Thousands of Vegetable and Flowering Plants to Hospitals, Food Pantries in Response to COVID-19

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DC area nonprofit Melwood is donating donated thousands of vegetable and flowering plants to hospitals, food pantries, group homes, and nursing homes in order to share food, comfort, and appreciation during the COVID-19 crisis.

Members of an Arc of Southern Maryland group home display a sign they created thanking Melwood for their donated flowers.

Members of an Arc of Southern Maryland group home display a sign they created thanking Melwood for their donated flowers.

“It’s more important than ever to reach out to those who need our help, thank the healthcare workers on the front lines, and bring a little cheer to seniors and individuals of differing abilities,” said Melwood’s President and CEO Cari DeSantis.

Melwood is proud to be donating thousands of vegetable and flowering plants grown by people of differing abilities to DC area hospitals, food pantries, group homes and nursing homes. “It’s more important than ever to reach out to those who need our help, thank the healthcare workers on the front lines and bring a little cheer to seniors and individuals of differing abilities,” said Melwood’s President and CEO, Cari DeSantis adding, “We salute our brothers and sisters on the front lines keeping the nation safe from the coronavirus.” Each day, hundreds of Melwood employees of differing abilities are responsible for sanitizing more than 60 federal buildings and military bases in the DC area so the essential federal workers can go about doing the nation’s business.

According to Clarissa Mitchell, CEO of EPIC, a Maryland based group home and service provider, “The flowers were beautiful, and they came at the perfect time to breathe a little life back into our team members and the people we support. COVID-19 has been at the forefront of many of our lives and to step away and have something else to focus on really helped diminish our stress.”

Throughout April and May, thousands of vegetable plants have been delivered to:

  • The Capital Christian Fellowship Food Pantry in Lanham, Maryland
  • Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC)

While hundreds of flowering plants have been delivered to hospitals including:

  • Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC
  • George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC
  • University of Maryland Capital Region Health buildings in Prince George’s County, Bowie and Laurel Maryland
  • University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center in La Plata, Maryland

And hundreds more donated to group homes and nursing homes including:

  • Spring Dell Center in La Plata, Maryland
  • Charles County HARC
  • EPIC in Brandywine in Maryland
  • Arc of Southern Maryland

Melwood also supplied plants to Plants and Blooms ReImagined who distributed them to:

  • Deanwood Rehabilitation Center
  • Unique Rehabilitation and Wellness Center
  • Seabury Friendship Terrace Senior Center Assisted Living and Seabury Home First Residency

“With National Nurses Week running May 6 –12 and May being Mental Health Awareness Month, this was the perfect time for Melwood to show our appreciation to the health care workers and to cheer up those who may be feeling isolated and lonely during these troubled times,” said DeSantis.

About Melwood
Melwood is one of the largest employers of people of differing abilities in the country, employing more than 1,600 workers – nearly 1,000 of whom are people of differing abilities. Melwood offers job placement, job training, life skills for independence, and support services to more than 2,300 people each year in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Melwood’s Garden Center sells plants commercially and wholesale to businesses throughout the year. Melwood also has an inclusive summer camp program for children and provides employment and support services to veterans and active-duty military members who have experienced service-related trauma or injury. For more information, visit http://www.Melwood.org.

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James Tyll
Melwood
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