Courtesy Baltimore Food Policy Initiative/Twitter
Courtesy Baltimore Food Policy Initiative/Twitter

While many lack healthy food options in Baltimore, the city has been working for years to bring them to those areas with sparse offerings, known as food deserts. At a United Nations event in Rome today, an Italian charity foundation praised Baltimore for its work.

The philanthropic Cariplo Foundation and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact presented the award for the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative’s work against hunger among residents, per the AP. The initiative is a collaboration between the mayor’s office, the Office of Sustainability, the Baltimore City Health Department and the Baltimore Development Corporation.

Overcome w gratitude to win the #MUFPP overall award & have chance to exchange food policy practices with other cities. THANK YOU! @mayorsrb

— Bmore Food Policy (@BmoreFoodPolicy) October 14, 2016

Those agencies having been working since 2009 to incentivize bringing grocery stores with healthy food to areas lacking fresh produce, create pop-up farmer’s markets in neighborhoods and develop so-called virtual supermarkets with cheap online grocery delivery, among other efforts.

Mexico City also received an award for its “community dining room program,” according to the AP. The ceremony was part of the programming for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s World Food Day.

An international pat on the back is always nice, but what’s more important is a change in culture. The recent start of construction for the Baltimore Food Hub is a perfect example of that hopeful shift. With any luck, the new mayoral administration will carry on the previous one’s efforts in the fight against food deserts.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...