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Formation of a Community Non-Profit (2023)

The Appalachian Farm & Food Alliance, Inc. non-profit was incorporated on June 5, 2023, and was created through a Maryland Department of Health SPINE funding opportunity with collaboration from the Garrett County Health Department’s Population Health, Innovation, and Informatics Unit, Garrett County Government, University of Maryland Extension – Garrett County, Garrett County Economic Development (Agricultural Business Program), local farmers, and community members.

Expansion of Community Markets to Remote Areas and Food deserts (2022, 2023)

What difference did we make? The Population Health, Innovation, and Informatics Unit within the Garrett County Health Department believes access to affordable, healthy, nutritious food will help families live healthier lifestyles. Our goal was to provide pop-up markets in remote areas of Garrett County to increase access to local fresh produce. Working collaboratively with Garrett Growers and the Ruth Enlow Library Systems, 814 individuals utilized the pop-up markets in Kitzmiller, Friendsville, and the Meadows housing complex in Mountain Lake Park. $249.01 in SNAP funds were matched and added to the local economy during 97 SNAP transactions. $484.00 dollars of Senior Market Bucks were also matched!


The Population Health, Innovation & Informatics Unit within the Garrett County Health Department received a funding award in 2022 to create a food security subcommittee within the Health Planning Council, Garrett County’s Local Health Improvement Coalition to ensure issues related to food security are included as a community priority. In October of 2022, a formalized partnership was created with the Western Maryland Food Council, adopting the Garrett County chapter as the subcommittee for the Health Planning Council. Funding was awarded again in 2023 to support community collaborations through the Health Planning Council to promote food and nutrition security and stand up sustainable efforts to form a community non-profit. Funding to establish the non-profit came from a grant titled, The State Partnership Improving Nutrition and Equity (SPINE) program in Maryland.

The State Partnership Improving Nutrition and Equity program in Maryland is a national project of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors that is 100 percent supported under the State Partnerships Improving Nutrition and Equity program, which is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $2 million with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official view of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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