Foundation named after slain Marine distributes free food in Durham

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Soaring temperatures on Saturday didn't deter hundreds of people who drove to Durham's Lakewood shopping center for a COVID-19 food giveaway. Organizers distributed 300 bags of food to cars of families and singles coping with income losses caused by coronavirus concerns.

The response was no surprise for the organizers.

"No, it's not at all," said Grant Frisbee, vice president of the Fred A. Edgerton Jr. Foundation. "We knew that the need is great but it's really overwhelming, when you see the line of cars."

It's quiet, appreciated community outreach by the foundation named for the former Marine killed five years ago, while working as an apartment manager on Cheek Road. We learned that day in 2015 that he was asked to provide security for people worried about bad guys hanging around their children, but he did much more for many of the families who lived there and called him Mr. Fred.

His sister in law Tiffany Garris Covington said, "One lady walked up to us and told us that he paid for her daughter's prom dress. Just gave her the money, told her to get the prom dress. He did whatever he could do."

Now his family and others who admire him are paying it forward, teaming up with volunteers from Duke University and several local businesses including Americano USA, whose owner said "We provide these vans, to be able to transport some of the food that's being delivered to our community."

They all reached across ethnic and racial lines to make a difference.

Pilar Rocha-Goldberg of El Centro Hispano said "This is actually building bridges. And I think we really need to continue working and building a relationship between Latinos and African-Americans, and I think this is an excellent, excellent way to do it."

And now, just days away from the sad anniversary of Mr. Fred's death, they're already talking about doing more in his name.

"We're planning to come out at least two more times, for food drops," said his sister in law. "We're looking to work with partner agencies on some kind of back to school, in September."

It's part of their ongoing commitment to help people, in Mr. Fred's memory.
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