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.

Working Group Initiatives

2020 Priorities:

  • Expand access to benefits programs through increased outreach, support and resource-sharing to those eligible residents who do not participate.
  • Establish mechanisms for the sustainability of current subgroup foci and utilize new subgroups to further Food Security Plan recommendations, as appropriate.
  • Continue to use data from food assistance providers, namely the FoodStat tool, to maximize impact of existing efforts/activities.
  • Identify joint initiatives with EIWG, FEWG, FEdWG re:  FSP recommendations that relate more to the scope of those work groups or address common priority areas.
  • Additional priorities to be determined in consultation with new FRAWG-centered Council members.
Montgomery County Food Security Plan (FSP)

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.

Subgroups: 

  • Healthcare and Food Access: This subgroup brings together food assistance and healthcare providers to work on introducing effective screen & intervene processes at hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities.
  • Nutrition Standards: This subgroup is working to develop training models and guidelines for food assistance providers, in order for them to implement initiatives at their sites to encourage healthy food choices.
  • Culturally Appropriate Food Access: This subgroup has been assessing the extent of the need for culturally appropriate food options in Montgomery County, and working to increase access to culturally appropriate products in the food assistance network.
Food Assistance Resource Directory (FARD)

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.

Food Security Community Advisory Board (FSCAB)

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.

 

Expand ‘Screen and Intervene’ by Healthcare Providers

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.

Food Is Medicine

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.

Expanding Food Recovery

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.

Strengthening SNAP

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. 

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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