University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center Collaborates with Caring Cupboard to Increase Access to Food in Anne Arundel County
Support provided through $50,000 grant awarded by the University of Maryland Medical System to address food insecurity.
GLEN BURNIE, Md. (August 15, 2022) – The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) will work with Caring Cupboard to provide standard pantry items to residents in select Anne Arundel County neighborhoods with limited access to grocery stores and healthy food options. The collaboration is made possible in part from a $50,000 grant awarded by the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) to organizations committed to addressing food insecurity in Maryland.
Food insecurity is becoming more prominent in the state. In 2020, approximately 48,000 Anne Arundel County residents, including 11,400 children, were food insecure, according to Feeding America.
"Making sure children and adults across Anne Arundel County have reliable access to groceries and standard pantry items is absolutely essential to taking care of the health and wellness of our community," said Kathy McCollum, President and Chief Executive Officer of UM BWMC. "Health starts with nutrition. As a leading healthcare provider in Anne Arundel County, we are committed to working with the Caring Cupboard to identify areas in our county where access to healthy food continues to be a challenge."
The Caring Cupboard plans to use the funds awarded by UMMS to renovate a school bus and turn it into a mobile grocery store that will visit Anne Arundel County neighborhoods that have limited transportation options and minimal access to grocery stores. The bus will have standard food items, such as dried pasta, tomato sauce, canned fruits and vegetables, eggs and bread for residents to take at no cost. Members from UM BWMC's Community Outreach Team will collaborate with Caring Cupboard to identify in-need neighborhoods for the mobile grocery store to visit.
UM BWMC has a long history of working alongside local organizations and food banks to collect and distribute food to families in the county. During its COVID-19 response, the hospital increased its efforts to support families, providing over 5,000 produce boxes, 1,800 meals and pantry items, and 500 boxed lunches to elementary school children.
Seven other organizations across the state will receive more than $2 million from UMMS to address food insecurity as well:
- Food Access Support Services Team (FASST) with Meals on Wheels: $775,600 to fund a three-year initiative aimed at addressing food insecurity statewide.
- Baltimore Community Lending with Curate: $630,000 to provide technical assistance, education, training and capacity building to four cohorts of food-focused entrepreneurs (farmers, growers, bakers, manufacturers) focused on creating locally-sourced food ecosystems in communities.
- Maryland Food Bank: $330,000 to support providing fresh produce and shelf-stable food to food insecure residents in targeted zip codes in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County and the Eastern Shore.
- Capital Area Food Bank: $200,000 to support a mobile market program serving Prince George's County
- First Fruits Farm: $75,000 to support expansion of the farm to provide fresh produce statewide
- Harford Community Action Agency: $40,000 to provide meals to food insecure residents of identified Harford County neighborhoods
- Southern Maryland Food Bank: $25,000 to provide meals to food insecure residents of identified Charles County neighborhoods
Community Impact Teams at each of the UMMS member organizations, comprised of Population Health, Community Health and hospital leadership, will be engaged in collaborative efforts with these local organizations.
UMMS is also awarding $85,000 for the University of Maryland Medical Center, the System's academic flagship hospital, and Cureate to partner on a feasibility study for a first-of-its-kind food processing plant in Baltimore. The plant is needed as a mechanism to create additional local food capacity and provide quality food and jobs for local residents.
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will also be receiving a grant of $120,000 to support STEM education for youth in communities served by UMMS member organizations.
"We hold seriously the critical role of our hospitals and member organizations as anchor institutions in local communities," said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer of UMMS. "We recognize the importance not only of providing world-class health care but also working beyond the physical walls of our hospitals to serve as an engine to help drive economic and societal change in Maryland's communities in which we are privileged to serve."
About the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center
The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC) is an acute-care facility that is part of the University of Maryland Medical System. It is located in Glen Burnie, Maryland and has 314 beds and more than 3,100 team members. It also has 1,200 medical providers on staff in over 50 specialties. For more information, visit www.umbwmc.org.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is an academic private health system, focused on delivering compassionate, high quality care and putting discovery and innovation into practice at the bedside. Partnering with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore who educate the state's future health care professionals, UMMS is an integrated network of care, delivering 25 percent of all hospital care in urban, suburban and rural communities across the state of Maryland. UMMS puts academic medicine within reach through primary and specialty care delivered at 11 hospitals, including the flagship University of Maryland Medical Center, the System's anchor institution in downtown Baltimore, as well as through a network of University of Maryland Urgent Care centers and more than 150 other locations in 13 counties. For more information, visit www.umms.org.