Maryland Hunger Solutions Teaming Up with ShopRite to Help Shoppers Stretch Food Dollars
ShopRite of Perring Crossing Hosting Food Supplement Program Outreach Station
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Adach, 202.986.2200 x3018
Baltimore, Md. – May 31, 2012 – The ShopRite of Perring Crossing is set to open its doors, and Maryland Hunger Solutions is teaming up to provide Food Supplement Program (FSP) outreach to interested shoppers throughout the grand opening weekend (June 1 – 3, 2012).
Maryland Hunger Solutions staff and volunteers will operate an outreach station in the store (2401 Cleanleigh Drive, Parkville, MD) that will provide information and answer questions about available nutrition assistance programs, pre-screen individuals to see if they are eligible for FSP, and assist interested individuals in applying on-site for the program.
“The Food Supplement Program is a great resource to help struggling Marylanders stretch limited dollars. Unfortunately, far too many Marylanders continue to miss out on this program, simply because they do not realize they could be eligible for it,” said Maryland Hunger Solutions Director Cathy Demeroto. “ShopRite is being a wonderful community leader by working with Maryland Hunger Solutions to conduct outreach about available nutrition assistance programs. We believe it will make a huge difference for Parkville shoppers.”
Earlier today, the store had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick-off the grand opening weekend. The Klein Family, who own and operate this location, was joined by Senator Katherine Klausmeier, Delegates Eric Bromwell and Joseph Boteler, and Councilmen Robert Curran and David Marks. Also attending were Eric Ratchford, Field Operations Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture - Mid-Atlantic Region; Thomasina Hiers, Deputy Secretary for Programs, Maryland Department of Human Resources; Deborah D'Souza, Director, Baltimore County WIC Program; Mitch Erauth, Office Manager, Baltimore County WIC Program; and Colleen Phebus, State WIC Outreach Coordinator, Maryland WIC Program
“Here in Maryland, nearly 210,000 children and young people don’t have ready or reliable access to the food they need to lead healthy, active lives,” said Hiers. “By expanding access to healthy and affordable food, ShopRite and Maryland Hunger Solutions are helping Maryland move forward towards our goal of eliminating childhood hunger by 2015.”
The Food Supplement Program provides monthly assistance to low-income families to help them buy food and eat healthy. In addition to helping people make ends meet, FSP stimulates local economies by bringing millions of federal dollars into the state. More than 700,000 Maryland residents received Food Supplement Program benefits in March 2012, a seven percent increase from the previous March. Still, despite this increase, many eligible people in need still aren’t signed up for the program.
The outreach station will be located in the store, and will be available to shoppers from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, June 1; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 2; and 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 3.
“It’s more important than ever that people get the assistance that’s out there to help them,” Demeroto said. “Too often there are unnecessary challenges to people applying for help, whether they aren’t sure how to apply, are worried there’s a stigma attached, or face long waits or delays at local offices. By conducting outreach where people live, play, and shop, we’re doing everything we can to raise the visibility of the Food Supplement Program and get more people signed up.”
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Maryland Hunger Solutions is the lead research, public education, and advocacy group in Maryland dedicated to using public programs to end hunger in Maryland. Maryland Hunger Solutions is an initiative of the Food Research and Action Center.