The Hogan administration has announced a partnership between the Maryland Department of General Services (DGS), the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives (GOCI), and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to coordinate the acquisition and distribution of approximately 500,000 shelf-stable meal kits, valued at over $2 million, to needy Marylanders. The meal kits will be given to Maryland nonprofit organizations, including food pantries and home shelters, whose mission is to feed the underserved.
“Our administration is committed to finding opportunities to help those most in need,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This partnership between our state agencies, and with the support and assistance of Maryland’s nonprofit organizations, will provide nutritious meals to families in need of assistance across the state.”
The distribution of the shelf-stable meal kits was made available through the Department of General Services’ Federal Surplus Donation Program. As the designated Maryland state agency to receive surplus property through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), DGS administers the program, which enables eligible, non-federal organizations to obtain surplus personal property no longer required by the federal government, and at no cost. More than 60 nonprofit organizations across the state have applied to receive the meal kits.
“The surplus property program is a great opportunity to get these meal kits and other resources directly into Maryland communities,” said DGS Secretary Ellington E. Churchill Jr. “Our agency is committed to delivering essential services to the citizens of Maryland and this partnership does just that.”
GOCI is coordinating the receipt of the meal kits with the nonprofits and local jurisdictions.
“Our office is honored to help execute Governor Hogan’s mission to support our communities across the state in every way possible,” said Steve McAdams, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. “We are thrilled to be a part of this important new partnership and to connect the hundreds of Maryland non-profit organizations we work with every year to the resources they need.”
“When we learned of this surplus, we immediately turned to the network of 17 Community Action Agencies in Maryland. These organizations, funded in part by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, run a wide range of services for low-income individuals and families, including food pantries, meals for seniors, homeless shelters and much more,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “This is a terrific opportunity to get this food directly into the hands and mouths of Maryland’s most vulnerable populations.”
Through GOCI and DHCD’s outreach efforts, the state confirmed a critical demand of 500,000 meals equaling 468 pallets or 18 truckloads of meal kits. DGS and DHCD coordinated the transportation of the meal kits from Greensville, North Carolina to Crownsville, Maryland. The Anne Arundel County Food Bank in Crownsville, Maryland has volunteered their facility to act as a distribution hub for nonprofits that request the meals over the following weeks.