Aaron Arnold had just emerged from an appointment with his probation officer when he and his family came upon the bounty outside the court building: boxes of lettuce, cabbage and celery stacked high along a wall, cartons of cottage cheese piled on a table nearby and shining bars of chocolates.
Arnold and his family filled their bags with fresh food and goodies, without having to pay a dime. They were among the first to take advantage of a new mobile food pantry in Maryland designed to alleviate one of the pressures many on parole and probation face as they try to stay out of jail — feeding their families.
“It’s gonna help us out,” said Arnold, who was eyeing a bag of marshmallows. “A lot of people just don’t have the means.”
The mobile food pantry in Hyattsville on Monday was part of an effort to improve relationships between probation officers and their clients while lending a hand to those working to rebuild their lives, said Sabra Mastalski, a field supervisor for the state parole and probation office.