Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s (D) office announced a new plan this weekend that aims to help feed thousands of city residents who are being hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the new plan, over $5.3 million will be put toward providing 20,000 food boxes weekly to residents.
“COVID-19 has deepened the inequity of food insecurity, especially in our Latinx and Black and Brown communities,” Scott said in statement announcing the effort on Friday. “As we approach the new year, many Baltimoreans are concerned about losing valuable federal resources that will expire in the new term.
“With this initiative, the City will be able to ensure there is no gap in support to feed our families over the next few months,” he continued.
Scott’s office said the boxes will be distributed to families at 100 sites across the city and include “produce and mixed food.” As part of the new effort, which Scott’s office referred to as a “four-point COVID-19 Emergency Food Strategy,” the city will also be expanding a “grocery home delivery program that includes shelf-stable food boxes.”
“The initiative will run through March 31, 2021 and will result in almost 6 million pounds of food distributed to Baltimore residents,” his office said.
Scott on Friday also thanked the city’s food service partners — which include Maryland Food Bank, Coastal Sunbelt, the Common Market, Saval Food Service, and Amazon Flex — for their cooperation during a “crucial time.”
The move comes almost two weeks after Scott was sworn into office as the city’s newest mayor. The 36-year-old is the youngest person in history to serve in the role in Baltimore, according to local media.
On his first full day of office earlier this month, Scott ordered all restaurants in the city to temporarily halt indoor and outdoor dining in an effort to counter increasing COVID-19 rates. The city was reported to have a test positivity rate of 7.7 percent at the time.
As of Sunday, Maryland has reported over 250,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 5,270 deaths. Baltimore accounts for more than 29,300 of those cases. Over 640 people have died from the disease in the city, state health officials said this weekend.