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Keyword: food bank

Produce for the People Initiative to Grow More than 500,000 Pounds per Year to Address Food-Insecurity

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz broke ground this morning on a greenhouse that will be used to grow produce at the County’s Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park in Cockeysville.

The $225,000 greenhouse will be used to support the production of an estimated 500,000 to 600,000 pounds of fresh produce that will be provided to local food banks, homeless shelters and school cafeterias, through the new Produce for the People initiative.

The Produce for the People program will place into production approximately 50 acres of land that will reach full production capacity in approximately three years. To accomplish this goal, the County is constructing of a 48-foot wide by 96-foot long greenhouse that will be used to grow transplants for crops like green beans, sweet corn, potatoes, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes and more. The program will be conducted with assistance from the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council, Inc. (MARC)

“This is a natural progression for us to maximize the benefits of our agriculture center by growing food for hungry people while demonstrating efficient farming and gardening techniques and offering suburbanites the chance to understand the important role that farming plays in our economy and society,” Kamenetz said.

“Given MARC’s longtime agricultural education mission, we naturally look forward to the many educational opportunities to be afforded by the new greenhouse and the Produce for the People project,” said Rick Bernstein, President of Maryland Agricultural Resource Council, Inc.

The greenhouse will also be made available for beneficial programs to be hosted by groups like the Baltimore County Master Gardeners, the Future Harvest New Farmer Program, the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council, Inc., and for therapeutic gardening programs for older children and adults with mental and physical disabilities.

Hunger in our Area

Despite being one of the wealthiest states in the nation, Maryland is home to more than 682,000 people who do not have enough to eat. While homeless people are the most visible faces of hunger, the need for food assistance is rising among children, seniors, and working families. Many people are working full time and still struggling to put food on the table. In fact, 33% of food-insecure individuals in our area earn too much to qualify for federal or state relief. This means that thousands of food-insecure Marylanders rely solely on the food bank and other hunger-relief agencies as they struggle to meet their basic needs.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017