By Ashkan Motamedi
For The Diamondback

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected families and restaurants in Prince George’s County. But through a virtual art sale, two organizations — Greater Riverdale Cares and Route One Communities Care — are giving back to help support them.

Through the art sale, which lasts until next Sunday, artists contribute their work to be sold. Sales proceedings are then used to buy meals from locally owned restaurants to give to local families in need.

The website currently has 43 pieces up for sale, and has raised $3,490 from 27 art pieces sold, as of Dec. 13.

“I think it’s a great initiative. It’s a great thing that this group of residents has come up with to support both our local restaurants and residents who are struggling right now,” said Mayor Patrick Wojahn.

Wojahn said he bought a piece of artwork himself to contribute to the initiative.

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“I saw a piece of artwork that caught my eye and thought I’d chip in to support the cause,” Wojahn said.

Artist David Brosch, who came up with the idea for the initiative and contributed five of his own pieces to be sold, said he believes the art sale helps bring some positivity during a time where many residents and business owners alike are struggling.

“It’s been really a good thing,” Brosch said of the initiative. “With all the negative stuff that goes on … [we’ve] got this really positive thing that’s happening that makes things a little bit easier.”

The local restaurants supported through the initiative include four in the Riverdale area, two in Hyattsville and four in College Park.

Jennifer Willett is a volunteer with the initiative, and her career in digital marketing led her to help put together the website for the art sale and a GoFundMe page for Greater Riverdale Cares and Route One Communities Care.

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Willett said $10 funds one meal, so if the initiative raises $100, that funds 10 meals which are then distributed to 10 different people.

“What we’re trying to do is, again, support local restaurants, but also use those restaurants and the funds we give the restaurants to then feed people who are facing food insecurity,” Willett said.

Looking forward, Brosch and other organizers hope to put together another art sale soon, and Brosch said he’s looking to involve more artists and sell different kinds of work.

As the pandemic continues, more money will need to be raised to help continue to feed local families who are struggling, and to keep local restaurants open for business.

“Next time what we’re going to do is we’re going to open it up to other artists, other … craft people,” Brosch said, adding that he thinks the next art sale could happen in the next few months.