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Keyword: food insecurity

Funds Include Generous $285,000 Donation from BGE to Support Current and Future Response to Pandemic

Baltimore County and the Baltimore Community Foundation today announced that 50 local community-based organizations have received grants totaling $400,000 from the Baltimore County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund in a collaborative effort to promote public health and support the County’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“County government is working around the clock to respond to this crisis, but we know even more needs to be done. We’re so thankful for partners like BGE, Tradepoint Atlantic, the Weinberg Foundation and all our generous donors for recognizing that we are in this together,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “Baltimore County is home to so many dedicated community organizations and we’re proud to support the invaluable services they provide to our neighbors during this trying time.”

Since its establishment on March 31, the Emergency Response Fund, which is managed by the Baltimore Community Foundation, has raised more than $500,000 from more than 150 individual, private sector, and philanthropic donors, including Tradepoint Atlantic, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation, the Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation and Chesapeake Realty Partners.

“BCF partners with many concerned donors and community-based organizations in Baltimore County as part of our regional focus,” said Shanaysha M. Sauls, President and CEO of Baltimore Community Foundation. “We are honored to work with County Executive Olszewski's administration to steward generous individual, corporate and philanthropic dollars and ensure they reach high-impact organizations in hard-hit communities.”

Baltimore County today also announced that BGE has made a $285,000 contribution to the Emergency Response Fund to support existing and future efforts. $185,000 in BGE funds will support grantees announced today while $100,000 in future funding has been reserved to enhance the County’s response to supporting reopening of County small businesses.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, BGE has endeavored to balance two important commitments to our residential and business customers and the communities we serve: provide relief from COVID-19-related economic hardship and continue to invest in the critical electric and natural gas infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable access to energy,” said Rodney Oddoye, BGE’s senior vice president of governmental and external affairs. “It is our hope that BGE’s contribution to the Baltimore County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will reach organizations that are vulnerable during a crisis and help them navigate this challenging period.”

Fifty County-Based Organizations Awarded Grants

In May, Baltimore County made grants available to organizations assisting those affected by COVID-19 in Baltimore County communities. Today the County announced that grant awards ranging from $3,000 to $11,300 were granted to 50 County-based organizations.

Funding will be used to support a diverse range of community efforts, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID safeguards for reopening, support for food distribution, virtual counseling services, rental assistance, educational supplies for youth, technology to address the digital divide, and assistance for veterans, first responders and their families.

A full list of the Baltimore County Emergency Response Fund awardees announced today is below:

  • AfriThrive Inc
  • Agape Christian Church
  • Arc Baltimore
  • Aspen Day Treatment
  • Baltimore Association of Nepalese in America INC
  • Baltimore Job Hunters Support Group (BJHSG)
  • Bas Melech Performing Arts Center Inc
  • Board of Child Care
  • CASA of Baltimore County, Inc.
  • Cavanaugh House
  • CHANA - A Program of The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore
  • Chase Brexton Health Services, Inc.
  • Chesapeake Bay Memories Charities Inc.
  • Children's Home, Inc.
  • Community Crisis Center, Inc.
  • Congregation Ariel Russian Community Synagogue, Inc.
  • Covenant Guild, Inc.
  • Diversified Housing Development, Inc.
  • FreeState Justice
  • Friendship Circle of Baltimore
  • From One Fan To Another Inc.
  • HACSI Hindu American Community Service Inc.
  • Hall at North Point Edgemere
  • Heaven on Earth NOW
  • Holistically Empowered Youth, Inc.
  • Humane Society of Baltimore County
  • Improving Education Inc.
  • Islamic Society of Baltimore
  • Jacksonville Senior Center Council
  • Jewish Uniformed Service Association of Maryland
  • KEYS Empowers, Inc.
  • Lake Roland Nature Council
  • Life Builders Church
  • Linwood Center
  • MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
  • Morning Star Baptist Church of Baltimore County
  • NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore
  • No More Stolen Childhoods
  • One Love Foundation in Honor of Yeardley Love
  • Oregon Ridge Nature Center Council
  • Penn-Mar Human Services
  • Randallstown Mount Olive United Methodist Church
  • Research and Counseling Foundation for African Migrants (RECFAM)
  • Set The Captives Free Outreach Center Inc.
  • Spectrum Support, Inc.
  • St Matthew United Methodist Church
  • St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
  • Towson University Foundation
  • Trinity Temple, Inc.
  • TWS Community Outreach

County Engaging Community Partners to Expand Food Distribution Network

Through the grant application process, the County noted that multiple organizations requested support to enhance food assistance. As a result, over 30 community organizations will be invited to partner with the County’s ongoing efforts to address food insecurity and the challenges of providing food and nutrition assistance safely during the pandemic.

To date, Baltimore County’s successful food distribution effort has provided over four million meals for County residents. Through this expanded food distribution collaboration, Baltimore County will directly engage nonprofit networks to ensure resources are reaching residents most in need of assistance.

This support for local community-based organizations is the latest effort from Baltimore County to support residents suffering as a result of the pandemic. Baltimore County has made millions in grant funding available for small businesses through the Small Business Relief Grants Program; offered $200,000 in grant funding to assist professional artists, musicians and performers; and provided millions in rental assistance to households at risk of losing their current housing.

Donations to the Baltimore County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund continue to be accepted on the Baltimore Community Foundation website.

Future grant awards will be determined by additional funds raised.


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 October 16, 2020               
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