Why Urban Farming is Important to Increasing Food Access
Our Commitment to Local Purchasing and Urban Farming is Growing!
MFB’s partnerships with Maryland-based farmers have been a priority for many years now, but our emphasis on localized food sourcing is about to grow even more with the help of the State of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). This week, Governor Moore announced new federal and state initiatives to connect Marylanders in need with fresh, local food in partnership with the Maryland Food Bank, Capital Area Food Bank, and MDA.
“This grant will tackle hunger by supporting our farmers, and our watermen, and all of our producers; so we’re talking about a grant that is literally going to be a win-win-win—we do not need to choose between supporting agriculture, supporting our seafood sector, and fighting hunger; we can and we must do all of the above absolutely at the same time, and that’s what this represents”
Known as the Local Food Purchase Agreement, this new funding program aligns with Pillar 1 of our strategic plan to expand food access by helping MFB purchase food from four types of MD-based entities: blue catfish from local watermen and processors; fresh produce from local farmers; meat, milk, eggs, and other dairy items from local farmers; and agricultural products from urban farmers in Baltimore City.
“This Local Food Purchase Agreement will have a tremendous positive impact not only for our farmers and producers, but for everyone along the food supply chain. It is exciting to see this new chapter of the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Food Bank’s collaboration unfold,” MDA Secretary Kevin Atticks said.
By increasing the amount of food we buy from Maryland-based food producers and urban farmers, more nutritious, fresher foods will travel shorter distances to our neighbors in need across all corners of the state. It will also help mitigate any potential issues that may result from shocks to the global supply chain, like what we saw in the early days of the pandemic.
“With support from the State of Maryland and the MDA, we’ll be able to both strengthen our local food systems and bolster the nutritious offerings we’re able to make available to our network of community partners and food-insecure communities throughout the state,” Maryland Food Bank CEO & President Carmen Del Guercio said. “We’re grateful to the Moore administration for recognizing that all Marylanders should have access to fresh, healthy foods produced locally, no matter a person’s circumstances,” he added.
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