Gather Baltimore: Providing fresh food to those who need it most

Even though gourmet and innovative restaurants thrive, and the region is teeming with renowned produce and seafood, large pockets of Baltimore are bona fide food deserts. The faces of the hungry are diverse. Whether out of work, between thinly stretched paychecks, or just trying to keep body and soul together, for some the area’s bounty is out of reach. For so many people – both singles and families – it’s like being a kid with their nose pressed against the window of a candy shop. How can there be so much food nearby, but nothing that’s easily accessible and affordable? Between farmers markets, food warehouses, and incompletely harvested fields, hundreds of thousands of pounds of food would go to waste if it weren’t for Gather Baltimore, a nonprofit that was started in 2009 in order to get healthy food to people who need it most. I learned about their (then $7, now $8) “blue bags” last year, when I found myself alone, without a job or money . . . or food. The bags are available for purchase to everyone; you don’t need to meet certain income standards, show identification, or anything else. A lovely friend of a friend realized that the only things in my refrigerator were pretty much gourmet mustards and jams, the remnants of a different lifestyle and a different life. She told me about Gather Baltimore, but let me know that they only were open from 11-4 on certain days. She wouldn’t be able to pick… [Read full story]

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