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Introducing Our New Senior Program: My Groceries to Go!

August 12, 2015

On Wednesday, the food bank joined representatives from the Maryland Department of Aging, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Baltimore City Area Agencies on Aging at St. Mary’s Outreach Center to celebrate the launch of our newest program: My Groceries to Go!

In partnership with the Maryland Department of Aging, the USDA, and the Baltimore City Area Agencies on Aging, the Maryland Food Bank celebrated the launch of our new senior outreach program in the only way that made sense—by distributing food to older Marylanders in need.

My Groceries to Go!—otherwise known outside of Maryland as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program—is a federal food assistance program that provides a monthly box of food staples to low-income seniors in Baltimore City; but in addition to the promised boxes of mostly nonperishable food, the food bank topped things off by distributing fresh produce to mark the special occasion.

The event took place at St. Mary’s Outreach Center, a network partner that serves a large senior population in North Baltimore.

“For the Maryland Food Bank, forging partnerships with the government and community organizations has been absolutely critical to launching programs like My Groceries to Go!” explained Maryland Food Bank Executive Vice President Beth Martino, in her opening remarks. “And we can’t thank St. Mary’s enough for the work you do in the community.”

The gratitude expressed by Martino was echoed throughout the day, as program recipients conversed with MFB staff and volunteers. Through those interactions, the obstacles that many of these seniors face became apparent—from poor health and doctor’s bills to fixed income and unexpected family costs.

“We have a hard time making ends meet,” explained Raymond, one of the seniors who had come to pick up food for he and his wife. “We’ve got bills we have to pay too. If you don’t pay your bills, they’ll come knocking on your door. So this definitely comes in handy.”

After each individual received their box of healthy nonperishable foods, they were directed outside to pick up fresh sweet corn, cucumbers, cabbage, bananas, and green beans.

“We’re doing more than just distributing food today. We’re distributing nutritious food,” said Rona Kramer, secretary of the Department of Aging. “And eating well is one of the most important aspects to aging healthfully.”

My Groceries to Go! partners with senior centers and community organizations across Baltimore City to target populations of low-income Marylanders age 60 and older. In advance of distribution events, food bank employees assist clients with registering for the program. Once approved, clients receive information on when, where and how they can pick up their monthly box of food.

6 thoughts on “Introducing Our New Senior Program: My Groceries to Go!

    1. Hi Phillip, depending on where you’re located, we should be able to link you up with one of our 1,250 distribution partners. Just visit our Need Food page, type in your zip code, and the online tool will provide a list of pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens in your area — along with their hours, contact information, and location. Best of luck!

    1. Hi Robin, because this program has only recently been approved for funding in Maryland, it is limited to Baltimore City for right now. However, we are working closely with the Maryland Department of Aging and the USDA, with hopes to expand the initiative to every county in our service area. We know that seniors all across Maryland need this service and we are eager to be able to provide it!

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