Maryland Hunger Solutions Teaming Up with Food Depot to Help Shoppers Stretch Food Dollars
Food Depot on Belair Road Hosts Food Supplement Program Outreach Station
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kirsten Bokenkamp, Food Research and Action Center, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.986.2200 x3974 or Benjamin Green, Food Depot, BLGreen@bgreenco.com
Baltimore, Md. – October 11, 2012 – The Food Depot on Belair Road in Baltimore City is teaming up with Maryland Hunger Solutions to provide Food Supplement Program (FSP) outreach to interested shoppers on an on-going basis.
Maryland Hunger Solutions staff and volunteers will operate an outreach station in the store (2401 Belair Road, Baltimore, MD 21213) 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. “Food Depot 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 shoppers.”
“Nearly one in six Marylanders are unable to afford enough food,” said the store’s director, Russ Belmont. “By expanding access to healthy and affordable food, Food Depot and Maryland Hunger Solutions are helping Maryland families put food on the table.”
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 214,000 Baltimore city residents received Food Supplement Program benefits in August 2012, a four percent increase from the previous August. 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 on the second Thursday of each month from 3 pm until 7 pm, starting October 11, 2012.
“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 committed to raising the visibility of the Food Supplement Program and helping to qualify more people so they can benefit from it.”
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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.