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Millions of meals later, halted funding ends food distribution in East Baltimore

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Posted at 5:57 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 17:57:53-04

BALTIMORE — It takes money to impact others. That’s a reality growing more and more evident at "The Door," a nonprofit, in East Baltimore.

A year ago, WMAR-2 News shared how the nonprofit empowers East Baltimore residents through weekly food distribution.

Now that the money it takes to sustain the program has run out, the group's years-long streak of outreach is in jeopardy.

Tehma Smith-Wilson, and The Door, for the last 20 years, have been consistent in providing weekly food boxes to families serving as an access point for healthy foods..

“I’ve been picking up boxes ever since the pandemic going to Liberty Community Center you know everybody, they come to get meals, vegetables and stuff,” Daniel Ross said.

Ross, every week, would take dozens of food boxes over to CSI Development, an assisted living facility.

“There’s 70 seniors in there, in the building, so I make sure I get them as many vegetables as I can,” Ross said.

"We serve anywhere from 400 to 500 people a week, and at that time, we’re not only in Zone 23, which is one of the lowest income sections in the city, but we have people come from throughout the city,” Benard Hudnall shared.

Hudnall is a regular, partnering with "The Door" as well. When learning about the halt in operations, his question is one that's echoed up and down Chester Street.

"My initial thought was what happened? Why,” Hudnall questioned.

Last month, the City of Baltimore notified several community partners, including "The Door" that FEMA discontinued funding food distribution programs throughout the city, ultimately cutting funds for "The Door" at a crucial time.

"With the price of food increasing anywhere from 12 to 15 percent, people who don’t have transportation and we’re bringing it to the community. We’re bringing it to people and losing the funding, not having the funding right now, its devastating. That’s the key word a devastating affect on families,” Hundall told WMAR-2 News.

"The need for food and assistance is still here and it’s probably greater than ever due to the increase in the economy, increase in food, lack of food and things of that nature,” Smith-Wilson said.

Smith-Wilson welcomes all contributions to help sustain their efforts while they continue offer residents what they can without funding.

To further assist the program, visit www.thedoorinc.or