Eleven churches in Prince George’s County teamed up to donate $25,000 in gas to the community at four gas stations in the county over the weekend, but one of those stations is accused of profiting from the effort.
Cars lined the side of Ritchie Road on Saturday morning awaiting the Sunoco gas giveaway event on Marlboro Pike in Forestville, Maryland.
“The turnout was huge,” said Reverend Dr. Gerald Folsom, pastor of Hemingway Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“We just wanted to give a little respite, a little help to so many people who are choosing between fueling up and shopping,” said Reverend Bobby Manning, pastor of First Baptist Church of District Heights. .
But at the Marlboro Pike Sunoco, the price jumped 10 cents from $4.99 to $5.09 just before the contest started, and once the event was over, the price was back to $4.99, organizers said.
“What happened was that community members were deceived,” Folsom said.
News4 tried to find out why the price was raised during the religious event and then lowered immediately afterwards. A man who operates the repair garage said he was not responsible for the price of petrol and provided a number to reach the station owner, but there was no response.
Maryland State Del. Nick Charles (D-District 25), who represents the area, said he also wanted answers.
“Here we have a situation where churches come in when they need it, the community comes together when people need it most, and this station has taken advantage of people, and I think that’s disgusting what happened,” he said. said.
The gas station made over $7,000 in a few hours from the event.
“We want businesses and businesses in our community to love community like the church loves community, and when we come together for opportunities like this, to partner with us rather than take advantage of us,” said Manning.
Charles said he was contacting the attorney general’s office to see if he could investigate what happened.
News4 made several attempts to contact the gas station owner, but he did not respond.