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County to expand food distributon for older residents

Ateaze Sr. Center

The Ateaze Senior Center, shown here during a town hall in 2017, will be a site for Baltimore County distribute food for needy senior residents.

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The Ateaze Senior Center is one of three sites chosen by Baltimore County to distribute boxes of food to people of age 60 and older starting this week.

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced on Thursday the Baltimore County Department of Aging will be expanding its food distribution efforts by providing boxes of food to the County’s older adults.

The program will be supported by $590,000 in funding provided through the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to specifically target these residents.

“We’re taking another important step to ensure older adults in Baltimore County will not go hungry through this crisis,” Olszewski said. “Promoting food security is a top priority of my administration and we will continue to use all resources available to us to support our residents.”

Food will be distributed at the Ateaze Senior Center (7401 Holabird Avenue) on Thursday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. It is by appointment only; call 410-887-2040 to schedule an appointment.

Under this new program, each box of food will include three meals and a snack for six days.

“We’re pleased to be able to provide this new support for older adults in the County who may have difficultly preparing nutritionally-balanced meals during this uncertain time,” said Laura D. Riley, Director of the Department of Aging. “Before this pandemic, over 600 senior citizens relied on our Eating Together programs each day for nutritionally-balanced meals and we hope that this newly expanded meal distribution will help those in most need.”

“When combined according to the directions, each meal meets the nutritional requirements for adults age 60 and older,” said Jill Hall, Chief of the Division of Senior Centers and Community Services.

Boxes will be distributed by appointment only at three senior center locations in three different regions of the County:

Baltimore County residents over 60 years of age should call 410-887-2040 to schedule their pick-up date, time and location. Only individuals with appointments will receive a box of food. During the appointment, individuals will be asked to show proof of age through their BCDA Senior Center Membership Card or other identification.

Anyone unable to travel to these locations should contact Maryland Access Point (MAP) at 410-887-2594 to discuss other food options with the MAP staff.

The Department of Aging plans to continue to provide meals through the end of June, or until the senior centers reopen to the public, whichever comes first.

This is the latest effort from Baltimore County to combat food insecurity among older adults.

Since March 16, the Department of Aging has served over 8,300 meals for seniors—a 33 percent increase in the number of participants since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, through a partnership with Meals on Wheels, a home delivered meal service, Baltimore County is helping provide shelf stable meals or grocery box deliveries for nearly 200 senior citizens in urgent need of food.

Department of Aging staff are also assisting with Baltimore County’s Saturday food distribution sites at the Hereford and Reisterstown Senior Centers.

For younger residents, Baltimore County continues to offer other resources for grocery and produce. For more information, go to baltimorecountymd.gov/News/foodresources.html.  

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