“You are what you eat.” But in Baltimore there are many people, young and old, who do not have reasonable access to healthy food. Their only meal options are chicken boxes; deep fried chicken and french fries, soda, potato chips, candy. For long-term health that isn’t a sustainable diet. As we continue our conversations about crime and education here in Baltimore, let’s not forget to look at the basic human needs and the programs working to meet them.
T.J. Smith is a Baltimore native and career public servant. He began his career of service as a law enforcement officer in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. After being promoted through the ranks, he transitioned into advisory roles for chiefs and elected officials. Smith then became the civilian chief spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department and later he became the press secretary for the Baltimore County Executive. Smith was a 2020 mayoral candidate in Baltimore. After the election, he chaired the Famous Fund, a non-profit organization that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and was established to assist Baltimore restaurants during the Covid-19 pandemic closures and restrictions.
TJ Smith- Facebook: @TJSmithSocial [facebook.com],
Twitter: @TJSmithSocial [twitter.com]
Michelle Suazo is co-founder of U Empower of Maryland, a non-profit focused on strengthening communities by building relationships and bridging resources to people and organizations. She is the Executive Director of the flagship program, The Food Project, bringing cooking, farming, restaurant skills, job opportunities, sustainable food sources, mentorship & hope to the youth of South West Baltimore. She is excited to be working with Johns Hopkins, as a Community Scholar, in the pursuit of evaluating and formulating real solutions for underserved communities.
Marvin "Doc" L. Cheatham Sr. is the president of the Matthew Henson Neighborhood Association, as well as CEO of the non-profit Matthew Henson Community Development Corporation. He is the former president of the Baltimore branch of the NAACP and the founder of the Maryland Voting Rights Restoration Coalition.