Fall Virtual Trainings for Hub Leaders and Food Assistance Providers: Register Now!

(Información en Español)

To complement the efforts of the Montgomery County Food Security Task Force, the County Council, the Department of Health and Human Services and the many dedicated food assistance providers who have worked tirelessly to increase access to food for county residents during the pandemic, the Montgomery County Food Council will be hosting a series of virtual trainings presented by local experts during the Fall of 2020, to share information, best practices, tips and resources to assist those engaged in the COVID-19 food security response. Sessions will include topics such as SNAP Basics, Culturally Competent Community Engagement and Outreach, Food Assistance Resources, Safe Operation of Emergency Food Distributions, and Nutrition Standards and Education. 

Please see below for a detailed description of each session. While this series is intended to share practical and logistical advice and support for those organizations providing food assistance in Montgomery County during the pandemic and beyond, the sessions are open to anyone interested in learning more about food security resources and best practices in Montgomery County. Registration for every session is not mandatory; please register for as many sessions as you are able to attend.

ServSafe Food Handler Training for Food Banking

  • Led by Renee Kee, Head of Nutrition Education, Capital Area Food Bank
  • This course, presented in partnership with Capital Area Food Bank and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and Food Moves Us Forward, is designed for food assistance providers and food partners that are cooking, packaging, packing, delivering, distributing and/or discarding all types of foods, but especially for county food partners with licensed kitchens or doing re-packaging and re-labeling of foods. The session will cover the basics of food handling and will prepare participants for the 2 day ServSafe certification course. Modules include:Food Safety Is Important, Good Personal Hygiene, Receiving and Storing Food Safely, Evaluating, Repacking, and Transporting Food Safely, and Cleaning and Sanitizing.
  • Please contact Allie Sklarew at asklarew@mocofoodcouncil.org for the materials from this session.

Food Assistance Resources in Montgomery County (ENGLISH)

  • Led by Susan Kornacki, Food Security Programs Manager, Montgomery County Food Council
  • This session will provide attendees with an overview of food insecurity in Montgomery County and the County’s COVID-19 food assistance response. Information will be provided about resources developed by the Food Council and our partners to assist residents in quickly and efficiently accessing food, such as the Online Food Assistance Resource Directory, Food Assistance Referral Tool, and County’s Food Assistance Website and 311 Call Center.
  • Please contact Allie Sklarew at asklarew@mocofoodcouncil.org for the materials from this session.

Food Assistance Resources in Montgomery County (ESPANOL)

  • Esta sesión proporcionará a los asistentes una visión general de la inseguridad alimentaria en el
    condado de Montgomery y la respuesta de asistencia alimentaria del condado en tiempos de
    COVID-19. Se proporcionará información sobre los recursos desarrollados por el Consejo de
    Alimentos y nuestros socios para ayudar a los residentes a acceder a los alimentos de manera
    rápida y eficiente, como el Directorio de Recursos de Asistencia Alimentaria en Línea, la
    Herramienta de Referencia de Asistencia Alimentaria, el sitio web de Asistencia Alimentaria del
    Condado y el Centro de Llamadas 311.
  • Dirigido por Diana Tato-Niktash, Food Security Plan Program Manager, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Moderado por Lucia Zegarra: Lucia Zegarra es originaria de Peru y trabaja como directora de programas de salud comunitaria en CHEER, una organización sin fines de lucro que presta servicios a la comunidad de Takoma Park y Long Branch. Ella lidera un equipo de trabajadores de salud comunitarios que apoyan a los miembros de la
    comunidad con inseguridad alimentaria y diabetes tipo 2. También supervisa iniciativas comunitarias
    que promueven la equidad en la salud. Lucia tiene una licenciatura en Ciencias Biológicas de la
    Universidad de Maryland, Condado de Baltimore. Antes de mudarse al área de D.C. y con la esperanza
    de marcar una diferencia en la vida de las mujeres, Lucía se ofreció como voluntaria para convertirse en
    consejera certificada de violencia doméstica en Los Ángeles y más tarde en consejera certificada de
    lactancia materna en D.C., utilizando este último para ayudar a las poblaciones minoritarias a lograr
    vidas más saludables. Ahora, trabaja como voluntaria en una estación de radio que ofrece recursos para
    una vida saludable y consejos a una audiencia hispana en el área metropolitana de DC, Houston, Las
    Vegas y San Francisco. Además, preside el Consejo de Padres de la Escuela Internacional Alemana en
    Washington, D.C.
  • Please contact Allie Sklarew at asklarew@mocofoodcouncil.org for the materials from this session.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 101 (ENGLISH) 

  • Led by JD Robinson, Anti-Hunger Program Associate, Maryland Hunger Solutions
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as “SNAP” or Food Stamps), is a federal nutrition benefits program that provides any qualifying US resident with a stipend every month to purchase food for themselves and their families. This session will provide an overview of the SNAP program, eligibility requirements, details of allowed purchases, as well as information on recent updates to the SNAP program in response to the pandemic. 
  • Presentation can be found here.

 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 101 (ESPANOL)

  • El Programa de Asistencia Nutricional Suplementaria (también conocido como ‘SNAP’ o ‘vales
    de comida’), es un programa federal de beneficios nutricionales que proporciona un estipendio
    cada mes a cualquier residente calificado de los EE. UU. para comprar alimentos para ellos y sus
    familias. Esta sesión proporcionará una visión general del programa SNAP, los requisitos de
    elegibilidad, los detalles de las compras permitidas, y también información sobre
    actualizaciones recientes del programa SNAP en respuesta a la pandemia.
  • Diridigo por Jenny Torres, Spanish Outreach Coordinator, Maryland Hunger Solutions. Jenny Torres es Auxiliar de Divulgación bilingüe en Maryland Hunger Solutions. Su papel le permite educar a organizaciones y voluntarios en el Programa SNAP, además de proporcionar asistencia telefónica para aplicaciones SNAP a las personas que llamen desde Maryland. Se graduó de la Escuela de Trabajo Social de la Universidad de Maryland con una amplia experiencia trabajando en comunidades diversas y de inmigrantes.
  • Moderado por Lucia Zegarra: Lucia Zegarra es originaria de Peru y trabaja como directora de programas de salud comunitaria en CHEER, una organización sin fines de lucro que presta servicios a la comunidad de Takoma Park y Long Branch. Ella lidera un equipo de trabajadores de salud comunitarios que apoyan a los miembros de la
    comunidad con inseguridad alimentaria y diabetes tipo 2. También supervisa iniciativas comunitarias
    que promueven la equidad en la salud. Lucia tiene una licenciatura en Ciencias Biológicas de la
    Universidad de Maryland, Condado de Baltimore. Antes de mudarse al área de D.C. y con la esperanza
    de marcar una diferencia en la vida de las mujeres, Lucía se ofreció como voluntaria para convertirse en
    consejera certificada de violencia doméstica en Los Ángeles y más tarde en consejera certificada de
    lactancia materna en D.C., utilizando este último para ayudar a las poblaciones minoritarias a lograr
    vidas más saludables. Ahora, trabaja como voluntaria en una estación de radio que ofrece recursos para
    una vida saludable y consejos a una audiencia hispana en el área metropolitana de DC, Houston, Las
    Vegas y San Francisco. Además, preside el Consejo de Padres de la Escuela Internacional Alemana en
    Washington, D.C.
  • Please contact Allie Sklarew at asklarew@mocofoodcouncil.org for the materials from this session.

October 22nd, 11am-12pm: Safe Operation of Emergency Food Distributions

  • Led by Mark DeNome, Consultant, Montgomery County Department of Human Services
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, the food assistance response by local organizations, many of whom have never provided such services before, has been phenomenal. More and more organizations are providing food to their communities, in more locations across the county, and the number of food distributions and “pop-up” pantries has increased tenfold. This course is general training for food assistance providers and food security workers to provide awareness of how county sponsored food distribution operations are viewed within the emergency incident management methodology, and how methodology manages resources and promotes safe operations.
  • Register here. 

November 5th, 11am-12pm: Nutrition Standards for Food Assistance Providers and Food Education Resources

  • Led by: Annmarie Hart-Bookbinder, Project Leader and Nutrition Educator, University of Maryland Extension, Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program; Katherine Donnelly, Nutrition Education Coordinator, Capital Area Food Bank
  • The relationship between good nutrition and positive long term health outcomes is clear. Food insecurity (including the consumption of food containing “empty calories”) leads to increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure and hypertension in adults, as well as depression and inability to focus in children and youth. This session will explore strategies that food assistance providers can utilize to implement simple changes to their programs and services in order to encourage participants to access the most nutritious food options available to support their long term health outcomes, as well as share the many food education resources that are available to residents of Montgomery County.
  • Register here.

November 19th, 11am-12pm: Culturally Competent Community Engagement and Outreach

  • Led by: Josephine Garnem, Program Manager, East County Gilchrist Immigrant Resources Center
  • Montgomery County is the most diverse county in the state of Maryland, with the fastest growing majority minority population, and a racial and ethnic makeup that is reflective of how the whole country will look by the year 2050. Being so diverse imbues our county with a rich cultural heritage, but can also raise challenges in accessing food, due to differing cultural traditions and food needs, languages, technological capabilities, age, and access to transportation. This session will explore best practices related to community outreach and engagement. We will discuss strategies to ensure that the needs and interests of the different languages, cultures, religions and ethnicities of our community are taken into account when creating programs and delivering services.
  • Register here.