Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will join local community leaders on July 30, 2014 to launch two community-based projects designed to improve nutrition and health status for residents of Baltimore. The event kicks off at noon at the Cherry Hill Senior Center, 606 Cherry Hill Road, Suite 201, Baltimore, MD 21225. The Baltimore City Health Department is re-launching its Virtual Supermarket Program (VSP) efforts with a new grocery partner. This program is focused on increasing access to healthy foods for low-income residents living in Baltimore's inner-city food deserts.
Delmarva Foundation, a Maryland-based health care quality improvement company, is sponsoring the Baltimarket website (www.baltimarket.org), which will also be launched at the event. "Delmarva Foundation's mission is to create solutions to transform health," said Dr. Fredia Wadley, CEO of Quality Health Strategies, the parent company for Delmarva Foundation. "Supporting this effort is consistent with our core efforts to promote wellness in this critical area." The website provides information on healthy eating opportunities, including farmers' markets, healthy food options, events, and community gardening activity within each of Baltimore City's neighborhoods. This effort is part of a Special Innovation Project funded by the federal government.
www.baltimarket.org also provides specific information for older residents on the Healthy Eating Linking Partnerships for Seniors (HELPS) program and other health and community resources. The HELPS program provides on-site health education, resources, and support for seniors in public housing projects and senior centers in Baltimore. HELPS is expanding into six additional facilities: Primrose Place, Pleasant View Gardens, McCulloh Homes, Rosemont Towers, The Ellerslie, and Wayland Village.
As part of the HELPS project, a new Eating Together program opened on July 23, 2014 at Hollins House, a public housing residence on Baltimore Street. Eating Together is sponsored by the Office of Aging and Care Services.