As Baltimore food insecurity heightens amid pandemic, volunteers step up to meet needs

The nutrition team at Henderson-Hopkins School in East Baltimore helps distribute food at the school every week since March 2020. Photo by Kamisha Walker for Capital News Service.

Capital News Service – Outside Henderson-Hopkins School in East Baltimore cars line up every Friday for blocks and people pushing carts walk up to get fresh food — more than 10,000 pounds of food every week, all gone in a few hours.

In West Baltimore, First Mount Calvary Baptist Church’s fellowship hall has been transformed into a food pantry, crammed with boxes of fruit, vegetables and fresh bread. By the church’s count, it fed more than 18,000 people between May and October.

Volunteers at Govans Presbyterian Church in North Baltimore spend several days a week at Soul Kitchen, preparing 50 to 100 hot meals to distribute outdoors on Sundays.

Homeless organization and hotel team up to provide rooms for veterans

The lobby of the Crowne Plaza Baltimore-Inner Harbor.

The Baltimore Station, a residential and community-based therapy program for the homeless and those with substance use disorder, has created a partnership with the Crowne Plaza Baltimore-Inner Harbor Hotel managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts in downtown Baltimore, to move its resident housing, counseling and alternative therapeutic programming to the 380-room hotel.

Meet Jen Katzen


Jen Katzen Under Rapid Fire

Here are 10 things you might not have known about Baltimore transplant by way of PA, FL and NJ, Jennifer Katzen, mom, wife, and marketing professional.

1. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Hanukkah! We host at our house (pre-Covid), and I love seeing all the kids open their presents together. It’s pure joy!

2. What is the last book you read? Book or e-Reader?
Educated by Tara Westover (e-Reader)

COVID app may help contact-tracing challenges this holiday

Maryland businesses prepare for the holiday season in the midst of a pandemic surge in November 2020. Photo by Philip Van Slooten, Capital News Service.

Capital News Service – “Answer the call” and “download the COVID Alert app” have joined the growing list of pandemic precautions, such as wearing a mask and social distancing, as the Maryland Health Department battles a pandemic surge during this holiday season.

“Of course everyone wants to be with family and loved ones, but we are in the midst of a pandemic and cases are skyrocketing,” Dr. Katherine Feldman, director of the Maryland Department of Health’s contact tracing unit, told Capital News Service on Thursday.

Three Black leaders seek to break fundraising barriers for Black-led organizations with Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective

Participants in B360, a program founded by Brittany Young, one of the founders of The Collective. Photo by Javon Roye.

Three Black-led Baltimore nonprofit organizations — B360, I am MENtality and The — launched last week the Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective to fundraise and share a joint development team to increase organizational capacity, sustainability, and better serve the Baltimore community.

New Study Measures COVID-19 Impact on Jewish Baltimore and Other Communities


This spring, as COVID-19 transformed our world, The Associated partnered with The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University to examine the impact of the pandemic on the Jewish community. Baltimore was one of 10 communities that participated in the study, which drew data from more than 1,300 local respondents and 15,000 respondents nationally.

“The Associated embraces the use of data to drive our decision-making, and we are committed to pursuing research opportunities that provide greater access to reliable data. Participating in this study gave us the opportunity to better understand rapidly-changing community needs,” said Marty Himeles, Chair of The Associated’s Research and Grants Workgroup.

Mental Health During a Pandemic


The struggle is real.

The pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental health of many in Baltimore’s Jewish community. Fortunately, in these difficult times, The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore’s agencies and programs are equipped to serve the needs of the community safely and effectively.

At Jewish Community Services (JCS), that means delivering therapy, support groups, new client consultations, triage, financial assistance and career coaching — all remotely.

Early on, JCS offered a series of free virtual programs called “Brief Bites” to help members of the community adjust to life during the pandemic. In recent months, the agency has provided interactive discussions on pandemic-related issues, as well as community-wide programs on addiction, and planning for financial, medical and end-of-life matters. JCS support groups for individuals with low vision, dementia caregivers, Parkinson’s patients and their families and those experiencing grief are also running online.

John Waters will be a presenter at the Pornhub Awards, Dec. 15

Image via Baltimore Soundstage’s Facebook.

After donating the bulk of his fine art collection to the Baltimore Museum of Art last week, Baltimore writer and filmmaker John Waters is turning his attention to a different art form.

Homelessness in Maryland worsens during the pandemic


Capital News Service – The coronavirus pandemic has increased the strain on groups that work to prevent homelessness in Maryland, with experts saying single mothers and people of color are being hurt the most.