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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Montgomery County Office of Food Systems Resilience (OFSR) and the County Office of Grants Management (OGM) has awarded funding to 16 organizations to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan to End Childhood Hunger.  Eight organizations received grants through the County’s Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) School-Based Food Assistance Program, five organizations received grants through the FY24 Food as Medicine Program and five organizations received grants through the FY24 SNAP Outreach Grant Program.  

These investments will support the creation or expansion of diverse and innovative strategies that address food insecurity through partnerships with K-12 school sites and pediatric healthcare providers, and via direct outreach to residents.  

“Seeing children in need of healthy food has always motivated me to ensure that students are being properly fed and nurtured,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. ”Montgomery County’s Strategic Plan to End Childhood Hunger, along with our funding commitments and prioritization of this issue, is bringing aid to families who need it most. I appreciate the partnerships with the County Council, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Grants Management, and the Office of Food Systems Resilience to provide these grants so expeditiously.” 

Special Appropriation 24-37, introduced by County Executive Elrich and passed unanimously by the County Council in December 2023, allocated more than $11 million to support the creation and implementation of the grant programs and additional strategies that correlate with the Strategic Plan to End Childhood Hunger.  

The organizations that received funding and their associated projects are listed below. 

FY24 School-Based Food Assistance Grant Program Awardees: 

  • Community Farm Share provides locally grown, culturally relevant fresh produce to families at five MCPS sites. 
  • Manna Food Center establishes new food pantries at two MCPS high schools, supports the expansion of food pantries at two MCPS elementary schools, and provides grocery gift cards at four MCPS schools. 
  • Nourishing Bethesda provides pre-packed snack bags at three MCPS elementary schools and supports the expansion of a food pantry at one MCPS high school. 
  • Rainbow Community Development Center distributes pre-packed bags of shelf-stable and produce items at two MCPS schools. 
  • Shepherd’s Table provides prepared meals for families at one MCPS school. 
  • Small Things Matter provides pre-packed bags of shelf-stable and produce items at one MCPS school. 
  • So What Else facilitates onsite food pantries and pre-packed grocery distributions at five MCPS schools. 
  • The Upcounty Hub provides snack bags and family-sized food boxes for seven MCPS schools. 

FY24 Food as Medicine Grant Program Awardees: 

FY24 SNAP Outreach Grant Program Awardees:   

The OFSR is actively leading the implementation of a variety of additional programs to bolster food access and affordability for households with children and build the capacity of our local food system in alignment with the Strategic Plan to End Childhood Hunger. The OFSR launched the FY24 Resident and Community Gardening Grant Program on April 22, which offers another funding opportunity to organizations engaged in food security initiatives in Montgomery County and bolster the community’s responsiveness to food access challenges. 

“Taking a multifaceted approach and engaging community partners, particularly those integrated with our education and healthcare systems, is a critical strategy to effectively address the racial and income disparities that characterize food insecurity in the County while simultaneously centering food sovereignty and dignity,” said Heather Bruskin, director of the County’s Office of Food Systems Resilience.  

For more information about these programs, please contact Catherine Nardi, program manager, Office of Food Systems Resilience, at [email protected].  

The mission of the Office of Food Systems Resilience (OFSR) is to develop and implement interagency budgetary, regulatory and operational strategies to build a more equitable, efficient, resilient and sustainable food system in Montgomery County. The Office defines “resilience” as the capability of individuals, communities and the County to withstand and rapidly recover from food systems disruptions, stresses and changes. The vision of the OFSR is to create a community where all residents can obtain healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods without fear of financial stress and a local food system that is able to adapt when facing changes and disruptions. 

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Release ID: 24-206
Media Contact: Nordea Lewis
Categories: Education, Grants