Many of our neighbors are deeply entrenched in poverty, and over 60,000 of them are unsure of where or when they will get their next meal. The Montgomery County Food Security Plan is the blueprint for how every local business, nonprofit, government agency and resident can contribute to ensuring all County residents have access to sufficient, nutritious food.

The Food Security Plan, released in January 2017, outlines extensive strategies for reducing the number of food insecure individuals in the County by 22% by the year 2020. The Montgomery County Food Council, the Department of Health and Human Services, and many community nonprofit, business, and agency partners, have been working diligently to implement the Food Security Plan’s recommendations.

Click the links below to skip to:

2019 Food Security Plan Community Update
Food Security Plan Recommendations for Years Two and Three
Background on the Creation of the Food Security Plan

Food Security Plan Year 2 Update

The Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC) and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services co-hosted a successful Food Security Plan Community Update on Friday, June 28, 2019, attended by nearly 100 food security stakeholders and community partners. The event featured a welcome from MCFC Board Chair Sharon Feuer Gruber, a greeting from County Executive Marc Elrich, as well as presentations from Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services, Amanda Nesher, the MCFC Food Security Programs Manager, Rhona Reiss, MCFC Food Security Plan Community Advisory Board Member, and Thomas Tippett, Performance Management Analyst at CountyStat.

Presenters shared an update on the Food Security Plan implementation efforts to date, new data accessible through FoodStat and the impact of FoodStat on Food Assistance Services in the County, recent policy and advocacy efforts related to food security at the County and State level, and next steps for addressing the recommendations in Years 3, 4, and 5 of the Plan. The event also included a panel discussion on “Implementing Food Security Plan Recommendations: Opportunities & Challenges.” This panel covered a variety of topics, including expanding access to benefits programs, increasing the availability of culturally appropriate food, combatting food insecurity amongst college students, and expanding food recovery efforts.

Please click to view the presentation slides and the handout presented at the Update (the FoodStat interactive data tool can be accessed here). In addition, MyMCMedia produced a Spanish-language segment about the event which can be found here.

Food Security Plan Recommendations for Years 2 & 3

In Year 3, the Food Council, with the help of its Working Groups and partner organizations, plans to build upon the activities undertaken in Years 1 and 2 of the Food Security Plan. Among other initiatives, we will continue to focus on strategies to increase benefits application assistance outreach and case management, and work with healthcare providers to help facilitate “screen and intervene” programs, along with appropriate sustainable referral and long-term case management mechanisms.


  • Support and expand food recovery
  • Strategically build capacity of smaller organizations & establish new programs
  • Adjust and increase transportation resources
  • Enhance communications strategies
  • Maximize participation in benefit programs
  • Strengthen food assistance infrastructure
  • Increase retail food access and expand food production
  • Engage community partners and the private sector
  • Health in all Policies for Food Assistance (Establish nutrition goals and standards for food assistance)


Background on the creation of the Food Security Plan

The Food Security Plan resulted from the passage of Bill 19-16, The Strategic Plan to Achieve Food Security, which was introduced in the Montgomery County Council by Councilmember Roger Berliner in the Spring of 2016. Sixteen hunger relief and food system organizations testified in support of this legislation at a public hearing on June 14th, 2016. The bill was passed unanimously by the County Council and the Innovation Program of Montgomery County was tasked with creating a Food Security Plan. The Food Council, as the nexus of food system work in the County, was designated as the lead nonprofit to collaborate with the Innovation Program on the researching and writing of the Plan.

To create the Plan, the Food Council employed a collaborative community engagement process that involved over 300 stakeholders, including food security professionals and County residents. An advisory committee was convened bi-weekly to guide the plan’s creation. The Food Council facilitated 6 community engagement meetings with nonprofit, government, and business representatives, and 8 listening sessions with local residents, conducted an online survey, and conducted over 40 key informant interviews. The resulting Food Security Plan reflects our shared objectives to:

  • Greatly enhance the level of food security in Montgomery County
  • Link County dollars spent on food assistance to the metrics defined in the Food Security Plan
  • Guide non-profits seeking food assistance grant funding from the County

In addition to the community engagement process described above, the Food Council referenced many existing food security resources to create the Plan, including:

Learn more about this comprehensive strategy to achieve our shared goal of food security for all in Montgomery County:

Food Security Plan

Summary of the Food Security Plan

Food Security Plan Postcard

Food Security Plan Year One Update

View the media coverage of the Food Security Plan:

Closer Look – Fighting Hunger in Montgomery County

Food Security Plan Combats Hunger on Local Level

Food Security Plan Aims to Tackle Hunger in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Announces Food Security Plan

Upcoming Events

Oct 22

City of Takoma Park, Request for Proposal & Informational Meeting

The City of Takoma Park is pleased to announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) for services to reduce food insecurity for disadvantaged or underserved populations of individuals and families residing in the City of Takoma Park.

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Oct 24

Healthcare Resources For You, Your Family and Your Community

The American Muslim Senior Society is holding a series of Town Hall Discussions to examine and address the impact of COVID-19.

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Oct 25

Food Security Community Call

Every other Monday, 1:00 to 2:00pm. Please register in advance.

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Oct 26

Food Education Working Group Meeting

4th Tuesday of each month, 9:30-11am via Zoom.

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Oct 26

Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center: Measuring Food Insecurity

Measuring food insecurity is critical for developing food assistance programs; evaluating nutrition, health, and development initiatives; and informing food policy across sectors.

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Oct 26th, Nov 23rd

Gardening Grant Showcase

The Food Education Working Group (FEdWG) would like to cordially invite you to our Gardening Grant showcase that we will be taking place over the course of four (4) FEdWG meetings in 2021.

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Oct 26

MoCo Made Happy Hour

Enjoy local beers from Silver Branch and sample products from Montgomery county businesses while mingling with local Community members!

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Oct 28

Transforming Food Systems through Advocacy: Community Leadership in Policy Change

This two-part series aims to equip nonprofit and community partners with actionable strategies to engage elected officials on key food policy issues at the municipal, county, and state levels.

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Nov 1, 4, 10, 19

Four-Part Virtual Listening Series for the Fairland & Briggs Chaney Master Plan

The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) invites the community to attend a four-part virtual listening series on the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan.

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Nov 2

Environmental Impact Working Group Meeting

The first Tuesday of the month from 9:30AM-11AM via Zoom.

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Nov 3

Conversations on Food Justice: The Significant and Far-Reaching Impact of the Criminal Justice System in America

Webinar hosted by No Kid Hungry and

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Nov 3-4

2021 Hunger Free Communities Virtual Summit

The Alliance to End Hunger presents the 2021 Hunger Free Communities Virtual Summit!

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Nov 4

Virtual Training: Fresh Produce 101

Join us for a virtual training: Fresh Produce 101
Thursday, November 4th from 11:00am - 12:00pm.

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Nov 17

Food Economy Working Group Meeting

Third Wednesday of each month, 9-10:30am via Zoom.

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Nov 17-18

2021 Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference

The Agriculture Law Education Initiative’s (ALEI) annual Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference.

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