The Food Recovery and Access working group supports the increased recovery of, equitable access to and advocacy for more healthful food for Montgomery County residents. We do this by working with the Food Council leadership to build capacity of food assistance organizations, amplify the work of Community Food Rescue, and integrate local and regional efforts into the work of community, non-profit, business and government stakeholders.
We are supporting the implementation of the County’s Food Security Plan by: increasing connectivity, collaboration and information sharing among food security providers; assisting with the standardization of Food Assistance Provider data collection; advising on the creation of County FoodStat (a database to track and annually report out food system data); and identifying high priority zones in the County. For a full update on the implementation of the Food Security Plan, please click here.
We created a comprehensive list of all current hunger relief resources and emergency food providers in Montgomery County. This directory – which serves as a valuable resource for individuals experiencing food insecurity, providers, and government agency staff – frames the current state of food insecurity in the County and highlights existing efforts and gaps in services provided. The FARD will continue to be added to and updated.
The first Food Security Community Advisory Board meeting was held on February 5, 2019, involving various community members who have struggled with or currently struggle with food access. The FSCAB will continue to meet throughout the year to discuss food security issues in Montgomery County and provide insight to help the Food Council and existing food assistance programs better support food insecure residents.
Toward our efforts of engaging the health care sector in advancing food security, we’ve convened a group of representatives from the major providers to discuss the current state of screening for food insecurity and the subsequent referrals to food assistance providers and health promotion services. We are creating a survey to inventory existing “screen and intervene”- style programs, like Food is Medicine, and we will facilitate regular meetings with this group to share best practices and develop ways to increase screening.
We are collaborating on The Food is Medicine program with the Primary Care Coalition, CHEER, Manna Food Center, Mobile Med Inc., Mercy Health Clinic, and many other organizations to integrate food assistance and nutrition education into Montgomery County’s safety-net health care programs by establishing infrastructure and support to provide routine food insecurity screening, generate referrals to community partners, and conduct needed follow-up and support.
FRAWG supports the Food Security Plan’s recommendations of expanding food recovery by getting more local producers on board to share products with Montgomery County residents. We work closely with Community Food Rescue (CFR), a collaborative system in Montgomery County that rescues leftover food and redirects it to residents in need before it is sent to landfills and incinerators. Food that is unfit for humans is sent to farmers for animal feed or to a composting facility.
We are examining ways to increase the number of SNAP/WIC approved retailers, to improve ability for eligible households to receive and maintain benefits, and to work with Maryland Hunger Solutions to support the SNAP program in Montgomery County. In May 2018, we recorded a training webinar with DHHS’ Neighborhood Opportunity Network providers and Maryland Hunger Solutions to support food assistance organizations in providing SNAP outreach and application assistance. We’ve also organized multiple trainings for volunteers to conduct SNAP outreach to help eligible seniors apply for SNAP benefits.
Every other Monday, 1:00 to 2:00pm. Please register in advance.
4th Tuesday of each month, 9:30-11am via Zoom.
July 27th, Oct 26th
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.
Third Wednesday of each month, 9-10:30am via Zoom.
The first Tuesday of the month from 9:30AM-11AM via Zoom.