Like many post-industrial cities, Baltimore has acres of vacant lots and a steadily shrinking population with just over 620,000 people. These challenges have proven to be opportunities for the current food system. Food features prominently in the city's sustainability plan and the planning department has a full-time food policy director to coordinate food access efforts across the City’s departments. Food system goals are also embedded in Baltimore’s Sustainability Plan, which seeks to position the city as a leader in sustainable, local food systems. Baltimore’s programs include community food assessments, a food system mapping resource, EBT/SNAP benefits in farmers’ markets and multiple urban farms.
We are working in two sites: Southwest Baltimore and Highlandtown, (located in Southeast Baltimore). Southwest Baltimore has a population of over 20,000, a median household income of $27,000 and an unemployment rate of almost 20 percent. About 75% of the population is African American and 17% is White. Highlandtown has a population of 7,250, a median household income of $49,000 and a 7% unemployment rate. About 73% of the population is White and 20% is Hispanic.
In Southwest Baltimore, the only neighborhood supermarket is the Food Depot, a locally owned full service market with two locations that is currently collaborating with CLF on a separate study to increase the purchase of healthier food options.
Highlandtown is home to Santoni’s supermarket. Santoni’s works with the Baltimore Health Department on a virtual grocery ordering program that enables neighborhood residents to place grocery orders at their local library branch or school once a week and receive their groceries the following day at the same place for no delivery cost.
Our partners include: