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County Executive Pittman to Sign Executive Order Establishing Anne Arundel County Food Council

Food Council will reduce food insecurity, continue progress started during COVID

Annapolis, MD (May 2, 2023) - Tomorrow, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman will sign Executive Order Number 60 to establish the Anne Arundel County Food Council. The signing ceremony will take place at the Anne Arundel County Food Bank on May 3, 2023, at 9:15 a.m. at 120 Marbury Drive, Crownsville, MD.

“The food distribution system we created during the pandemic kept many families from going hungry, but the need today is even greater,” said County Executive Pittman. “The Food Council will build on our work to reduce food insecurity and ensure that our residents have access to the food and resources they need long after the federal funds we used to start these programs have ended.” 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Anne Arundel County established a food access workgroup to coordinate efforts among multiple agencies and nonprofits working to reduce food insecurity. Building on this work, County Executive Pittman’s executive order provides a permanent, coordinated, multi-disciplinary effort to address food access issues and the associated health issues.

The Food Council will work to address inequity in the food system, create an inclusive mechanism to launch and coordinate food policies and programs, reduce food insecurity in Anne Arundel County, and improve equitable access to nutritious food. The Council will focus on supporting the local food economy and food infrastructure of low access areas, and will advise the County Executive and County agencies on methods to improve equitable access to healthy and culturally-appropriate food for all residents.

“The need for supplemental food in communities across the county is significant. The high cost of food and housing, coupled with the need for improved public transportation places a heavy burden on our neighbors as they try to feed their families,” said Leah Paley, CEO of the Anne Arundel County Food Bank. “Consistent access to nutritious, fresh food options is a matter of equity and food justice. We are grateful to the County Executive and all our partners working on these issues. The Food Council brings together many stakeholders and creates an opportunity for real, positive change for Anne Arundel County.” 

Costs for food and other household necessities have increased dramatically over the last year. The result has been an increased need for supplemental food resources across the community.  The Anne Arundel County Food Bank with its 80 Member Agency partners located throughout the county is experiencing a steady rise in requests for assistance. Currently, the Food Bank is averaging 41,000 individual points of service every month compared to 38,000 a month last year. While the need continues to grow, available funding is shrinking. With the discontinuation of Covid-era federal funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act, the ability to provide enough free food resources to meet the need is in jeopardy.

The Food Council will focus special attention on those Anne Arundel County neighborhoods experiencing the most poverty and food insecurity, many of which are disproportionately African American and Hispanic/Latino. Of particular concern are the associated negative health outcomes related to disparities in food access such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and obesity brought about because families in low-income communities often only have access to low-cost foods that are high in calories and sodium while also less nutrient dense. 

“The Food Council builds on the extraordinary collaboration that evolved during the pandemic among residents, county government, businesses, the faith community, and our county Food Bank,” said Dr. Pamela Brown, Executive Director of the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families. “It creates a mechanism to continue the fight against food insecurity in our county and provide healthier outcomes for all.” 

The County Executive will appoint 17 voting members to the Food Council. For more information on the Council, visit To apply to serve on the Food Council, please fill out the boards and commission application located at

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