Improving Nutritional Security, Food Access, and Food Equity in Baltimore City During and After COVID-19
The ARPA projects managed by the Food Policy and Planning team fall under the “Clean and Healthy Communities” section of Mayoral Priority Outcomes. The goal of this project is to build an equitable and resilient food system to mitigate the negative impacts associated with food insecurity during and after the COVID-19 pandemic by: improving access to healthy affordable food, increasing produce distribution and incentivization, and addressing the food supply chain failure by building the BIPOC local food production supply chain. Learn more about our projects here:
- Produce Box Distribution
- Online SNAP
- Farmers Market Nutrition Incentives
- Produce Prescription (Rx)
- Build BIPOC Local Food Supply Chain
Produce Box Distribution
In response to rising SNAP participation and online grocery shopping trends exhibited throughout the pandemic, the City has allocated $3.6 million in ARPA funds to increase online SNAP participation and provide fruit and vegetable vouchers to SNAP participants shopping online. Online SNAP refers to the ability for SNAP participants to use their benefits online to purchase groceries that are delivered to their home. In partnership with online SNAP approved retailers, the City is implementing B’more Fresh, an online SNAP incentive program that distributes monthly fruit and vegetable vouchers to SNAP participants shopping online. This effort addresses inequitable access to home-delivered groceries, digital equity, and ensures residents have a choice in where they shop.
Farmers Market Nutrition Incentives
Produce Prescription (Rx)
Produce Prescription Rx program at MedStar Harbor Hospital aims to provide patients with produce for 10 medically tailored meals per week. $450,000 has been allocated to this pillar to improve diet related health outcomes and reduce the total cost of care. Food Policy and Planning hopes to use the data and findings of this pilot program to inform future policies around insurance and medically tailored meals. Looking ahead Produce Rx will distribute the necessary resource needed to maanage chronic disease and increase access to care.
Build BIPOC Local Food Supply Chain