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County Executive Pittman Launches Food Access Warm Line

Food Resources available through 410-222-FOOD (3663)

Annapolis, MD (June 22, 2020)--County Executive Steuart Pittman today launched the Anne Arundel County Food Access Warm Line to serve individuals and families throughout the county.  Developed in partnership with multiple county agencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Access Warm Line will link callers to seasoned case managers for customized food resource navigation. 

This initiative started with the work of the Office of Emergency Management and Health and Human Services agencies such as Arundel Community Development Services, Department of Social Services, Anne Arundel Workforce Development, the Department of Aging and Disabilities and the Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families. 

"This pandemic has inspired the hard-working public servants in county government to deliver for our residents in ways we never thought possible,” said County Executive Pittman. “The food line connects people with the services they need, and it ensures that our staff have direct contact with families. That’s how we ensure that every program we offer aligns with the needs of our people."

By example, within the past month, 55,933 meals have been distributed through the Senior Nutrition Program to older adults compared to 10,257 this same time last year.  In addition, fresh food from local and regional farms has been layered in to supplement the Senior Nutrition meals.  The technology associated with the Warm Line will capture important data that tracks the distribution of all resources as well as identifying areas that are underserved so resources can be deployed to meet the needs.  

“Helping people avoid hunger and malnutrition under the best of circumstances is always a priority, but with the stay at home order, loss of employment and barriers to accessing groceries during COVID-19, the mission became even more challenging,” said Pam Jordan, Director of the Department of Aging and Disabilities.  “Prior to COVID-19, the department provided a hot meal to senior activity center members each weekday.  When the centers closed in March, we seamlessly transitioned to providing food in new ways.” 

“We knew early on that COVID-19 would disproportionately impact our most vulnerable residents. This virus shines a light on neighborhoods where health and economic inequities are rising and where the need for such basics as food is enormous. said Dr. Pamela Brown, Executive Director of the Partnership for Children Youth and Families.  “There is nothing more basic in life than having access to a warm meal and being able to feed your family. “

Agencies took immediate steps to reduce and eliminate barriers to food.   With an ever growing pool of resources among multiple agencies, the information has been consolidated within the virtual call center for a one-stop approach to fighting hunger.  Food resources include local and regional farm produce, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank, businesses in the food industry, and non-profit organizations maintaining pantries and delivery services.  In addition, traditional resource navigation such as SNAP and Senior Nutrition Program benefits will be offered. 

The Food Access Warm Line will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.   The phone number is 410-222-FOOD (3663).  TTY users should call via Maryland Relay 711.  Language interpreters are also available. 

To learn more about what callers can expect, check out this video of County Executive Pittman calling the Food Access Warm Line.

For more information, contact Linda Dennis, Project Manager, on the warm line at 410-222-FOOD (3663). 

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