NRG do­nates land to food bank pro­gram

Dorchester Star - - Regional -

VI­ENNA — On Monday, June 20, the Mary­land Food Bank an­nounced NRG, a For­tune 200 com­pany and the lead­ing in­te­grated power com­pany in the U.S., is do­nat­ing the use of ap­prox­i­mately 3.5 acres of land at its Vi­enna plant to sup­port the food bank’s Farm to Food Bank pro­gram.

The land will be har­vested and man­aged by Black Gold Farms, an ex­ist­ing part­ner in the food bank’s Farm to Food Bank pro­gram. The pro­gram en­gages a net­work of farms across the state in a part­ner­ship to pro­vide hun­gry Mary­lan­ders with fresh, lo­cal pro­duce. Through a com­bi­na­tion of con­tract grow­ing, field glean­ings and do­na­tions, these farms help the Mary­land Food Bank sup­ply nu­tri­tious food to food-in­se­cure com­mu­ni­ties across the state.

“We’re proud to sup­port the Mary­land Food Bank’s Farm to Food Bank pro­gram. NRG has a strong, com­pany-wide com­mit­ment to sup­port the com­mu­ni­ties where we live and work, and we can’t think of a bet­ter way to do that than to in­vest in a part­ner­ship that not only makes sense, but makes a dif­fer­ence in re­liev­ing hunger,” said NRG Vi­enna Sta­tion Gen­eral Man­ager Jack Grant.

Fruits and veg­eta­bles sourced through the Farm to Food Bank pro­gram are a crit­i­cal re­source to the nearly 1 in 8 Mary­lan­ders who face food in­se­cu­rity each year. Once har­vested, the Mary­land Food Bank mo­bi­lizes part­ners and in­ter­nal pro­grams to en­sure pro­duce gets to hun­gry Mary­lan­ders while it’s still fresh. The food bank dis­trib­utes fresh pro­duce to a net­work of more than 1,250 soup kitchens, schools pantries and shel­ters, as well as through its Pantry on the Go Pro­gram, which co­or­di­nates tem­po­rary food dis­tri­bu­tion sites in ru­ral, ur­ban and sub­ur­ban ar­eas.

Fresh pro­duce har­vested through Farm to Food Bank is also a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of the Mary­land Food Bank’s culi­nary train­ing pro­gram, FoodWorks, where stu­dents in­cor­po­rate pro­duce into prepack­aged meals for hun­gry Mary­lan­ders.

“The food bank is in­cred­i­bly grate­ful to NRG for this gen­er­ous do­na­tion of land to sup­port our Farm to Food Bank pro­gram, and to Black Gold Farms for their com­mit­ment to farm the land,” said Beth Martino, Mary­land Food Bank pres­i­dent and CEO. “Mean­ing­ful part­ner­ships like this will help us con­tinue to pro­vide food across the state, serv­ing more than 44 mil­lion meals per year. We are grate­ful to part­ners like NRG that are in­ter­ested in im­ple­ment­ing com­mon sense so­lu­tions to tackle chal­lenges like food in­se­cu­rity.”

To learn more about the Mary­land Food Bank and its pro­grams, visit www.md food­bank.org.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

NRG in Vi­enna will be do­nat­ing 3.5 acres of land at its Vi­enna plant to Mary­land Food Bank’s Farm to Food Bank pro­gram.

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