UM Shore Regional Health Supports Area Food Banks

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Jan Otter and Mike Quick volunteering at St. Vincent de Paul.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the community has very generously supported UM SRH health care workers and hospitals with food, messages of hope and support, and donated medical supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE).  What you might not know is how the Shore team has also given back to the communities, in an effort to improve access to healthy food for seniors, children and all who face shortages due to the pandemic and its economic impact.

UM SRH announced this week that it has partnered with the Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore to help address food insecurity challenges affecting residents of Maryland’s Eastern Shore as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am deeply concerned about access to food for our most vulnerable populations — children and the elderly — as a result of Covid-19,” said SRH president and CEO, Ken Kozel. “Many studies have shown food insecurity among children has adverse health effects, including increased rates of iron-deficiency anemia, acute infection, chronic illness, and developmental and mental health problems. Among adults, food insecurity is associated with such health risks as cardiovascular risk factors and hypertension. Shore Regional Health is happy to support the fight against hunger during this unprecedented time.”

According to Jennifer Small, director of Regional Programs for the Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore, typical “brick and mortar” food distribution sites have seen an average increase of 40% in new client visit, and overall food distribution efforts have increased by 100% compared to the same four-week period last year, contributing to increased food insecurity numbers across the state.

In addition, grocers and retail vendors who donate surplus food to the food bank are now facing their own supply constraints, resulting in less excess product for donation.

“The Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore is truly grateful for our partnership with Shore Regional Health. Their donation will help support our community’s increased food needs as a result of COVID-19 and increased unemployment, as well as food shortages across the state during this unprecedented time,” said Small.

Shore Regional Health’s initial donation of $5,000 will provide approximately 15,000 nourishing meals, contributing to the overall health and well-being of the community, explained Small. Shore Regional Health has supported five of Maryland Food Bank’s partners on the Eastern Shore:

Delmarva Community Services (Dorchester County) – 1000 Goodwill Avenue, Cambridge. Currently open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Clients must call ahead: 410-901-2991.

Haven Ministries Safe Harbor (Queen Anne’s County) – Food distributions are available in two locations every third Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Residents must present a photo ID.

  • Centreville United Methodist Church, located at 608 Church Hill Road, Centreville, for residents in zip codes 21657, 21617 and north.
  • Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church, located at 931 Love Point Road, Stevensville, for Queen Anne’s County residents with a zip code of 21658 and south.

Living Waters Assembly (Caroline County) – Food distributions are available in two locations. Clients must call ahead: 443-243-5906.

  • 401 Aldersgate Drive, Denton, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, (9 a.m. to 2p.m.)
  • 9058 Double Hills Road, Denton, Monday, Wednesday, Friday (11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursdays 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

Millington-Crumpton Food Pantry of Asbury United Methodist Church (Kent County) – 392 Cypress Street, Millington. Currently open Mondays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m.

Society of St. Vincent De Paul (Talbot County) – 29533 Canvasback Drive, Easton. Currently open Tuesdays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To learn more about food supply needs on Maryland’s Eastern Shore or to make a donation, visit mdfoodbank.org.