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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.


Fronda Cohen
Baltimore County Office of Communications

New Middle River jobs, residents and businesses continue their move to the crossroads of I-95 and Maryland Route 43 in eastern Baltimore County. Baltimore Crossroads, a 1,000 acre business community between White Marsh and the Middle River waterfront, already has attracted key companies such as Social Solutions, Synagro, Danfoss, Pevco, BGE HOME, Atlantic Design and Breakthru Beverage Maryland. Over 2,500 people work in Baltimore Crossroads, with 10,000 jobs expected when development is completed.  

Here’s a mid-year snapshot.

Shovels in the ground for new $750 million development

Artist's rendering of Greenleigh at CrossroadsConstruction is underway for Greenleigh at Crossroads, a signature $750 million live-work-play community along Maryland Route 43.  

“Greenleigh is placemaking at its best,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Greenleigh’s design and mix of homes, amenities and offices will attract young professionals who want to live in a 21st century lifestyle community near their jobs. I-95 is minutes away, with the Middle River MARC rail station just down the road. Residents can walk or bike to the waterfront. This is the perfect complement to the business development already in Baltimore Crossroads.”

The 200-acre development incorporates many new urbanism design elements including a compact walkable design; a mix of shops, offices, apartments and homes; pedestrian-scaled neighborhoods and a network of open spaces for more walking and less driving.

When completed, Greenleigh at Crossroads will include about 1,500 single family homes, townhomes, apartments and condo units; 428,000 square feet of office space in three new mid-rise office buildings and four single-story office buildings that are already completed; 128,000 square feet of new retail space; a 120 room Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel, plus walking trails, parks and places to gather.  

St. John Properties, Somerset Construction and Elm Street Development are developing the project.

RPM Goes Bigger

With a roster of food-industry clients, RPM Warehouse, a division of RPM Consolidated Services, Inc., moved to Baltimore Crossroads in January 2016. By April, they were ready to add more space for their logistics, warehousing and transportation business.  RPM now fills a full 435,000 square foot building. Chesapeake Real Estate Group specifically designed the building to support the needs of large warehouse and distribution clients. The building design includes expansive and secured truck courts, high ceilings, state-of-the-art sprinkler systems. Especially important in food handling, the HVAC/ventilation system achieves over three air changes per hour.

More BGE HOME

BGE HOME headquarters just plain ran out of space. This fall, they’ll be expanding into additional office and warehouse space on Tangier Drive. The company, which provides heating and cooling products and services, finds their location near I-95 and Route 40 ideal for servicing business and residential customers throughout the Baltimore region.

Meanwhile, less than a mile away

A 60 x 115 foot outdoor skating rink, more restaurants and outdoor dining, new fountains and fire pits are part of Federal Realty Investment Trust’s multi-million dollar renovation of The Avenue at White Marsh. 

Plus, iFLY indoor sky diving opens this fall.

Can’t wait to see what’s next!

 


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017