Huntingtown, MD: The highly anticipated completion of End Hunger In Calvert County’s food distribution space on the first floor of the new Warehouse is almost here. End Hunger expects the Food Pantry distribution center will be ready for operation by the end of the year. The opening of this space is timely as the need for food continues to increase with the cost of living expenses on the rise and the elimination of the additional emergency SNAP benefits implemented during the pandemic.
Until now, End Hunger has operated out of a warehouse located in Prince Frederick. This new Warehouse, located in Huntingtown, will have the space to distribute food and household items to the 71 food pantries and feeding organizations End Hunger partners with. The new space will ensure that End Hunger can continue to serve as a Regional Distribution Center for The Maryland Food Bank in Southern Maryland.
Construction of this 34,000-square-foot, three-floor Warehouse began in 2019. Despite delays with the pandemic and construction material shortages, the project has moved forward steadily with the support of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of multiple awards totaling $2,498,000 in federal funds. This includes $1,133,000 in earmark funding as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (Appropriations Act) as a result of Congress sending the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill to the President in December 2022, which the President signed into law. These federal funds account for 27 percent of the total project, with the other 73 percent financed from non-governmental sources.
The second floor of the Warehouse will provide a home for the Culinary Program of End Hunger. The Culinary Program introduces foundational culinary and workplace readiness skills to neurodivergent individuals 16 years or older to prepare them for employment in the food service and catering industries. The Warehouse will have the kitchen and classroom space needed to support these students as they work toward their goals. The End Hunger Culinary Program is supported by the US Department of Education as a part of an award totaling $300,000 in earmark funding as part of the Appropriations Act, accounting for 75 percent of the total project; the remaining 25 percent of the program is attributed to non-governmental sources.
The third floor will serve as a resource center for other nonprofits and will have collaborative meeting spaces available for community use. The third floor will also have a terrace for outdoor events catered by the Culinary Program.
Construction of the building is ongoing. Site work at the Warehouse is currently taking place to finish the parking lot and landscaping. Following the completion of the first floor of the building, construction will begin for the second and third floors. The new End Hunger Warehouse will have a greater capacity to meet the needs of the Southern Maryland community. You can learn more about the work of End Hunger by visiting www.endhungercalvert.org.