Session: Creating a Collaborative Response to Rising Food Insecurity in Montgomery County, Maryland, through Partnerships and Leveraging Community Strengths
This presentation will tell the story of how the Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC) led three strategies to collaborate with hundreds over 200 partners, in a proactive response to rising food insecurity in Montgomery County, Maryland. As the sole convener of the food assistance community in Montgomery County, the MCFC continues to take a systems approach to our role in the larger response effort. Participants will learn about the implementation of three key strategies: methods of collecting regular feedback from stakeholders to facilitate a consistent communication loop between government agencies and non-profit organizations; capacity building measures that are bolstering the community-driven food assistance efforts throughout the County; and programs that leverage local food production potential, including community gardening and a unique Farm to Food Bank program. We will also describe how these efforts are all deeply rooted in the recommendations of the Montgomery County Food Security Plan, to provide context and history. Following the presentation, there will be time for questions and dialogue.
Executive Directors, Mgmt, Case workers, FLS
Susan oversees food security programs at the Montgomery County Food Council. She supports several implementation activities within the broader framework of the Montgomery County Food Security Response Strategy, a component of the County-wide COVID-19 response. Prior to this role, Susan managed sustainability initiatives and community engagement programs at the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and oversaw stewardship programs at the New York City Parks Department, within the “MillionTreesNYC” initiative. Susan’s passion for this work is grounded in growing vegetables and raising chickens, while trying to live lightly, within the Lake Erie watershed. Her vision is a near future where zip code is no longer the primary indicator of life expectancy in the United States—and a future where all residents experience regular access to affordable, nutritious food, in communities that support our long-term health in a holistic way. Susan is a Bloomberg Fellow with the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. Susan holds a dual BA in Visual Art and New Media, and English, from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.