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Olszewski: National Guard to support meal distribution, Baltimore County implements hiring freeze

TOWSON, MD— Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Thursday announced a series of aggressive new efforts to expand the county’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The Maryland Army National Guard will support food distribution efforts following a request from the county
  • Baltimore County is significantly expanding the number of sites for Saturday meal distribution
  • Olszewski has implemented a freeze on non-essential hiring

“These are neighbors from our communities here to help us in our time of need. We are so grateful for the Guard’s commitment as our County continues to respond to this unprecedented pandemic,” Olszewski said.

Beginning on Friday, April 10, National Guard troops will support weekday meal distribution at all seven Department of Recreation and Parks locations. Beginning on Saturday, April 11, National Guard troops will support Saturday meal distribution at all Saturday distribution locations, including new locations. Full details on weekday and Saturday meal distribution will be available at baltimorecountymd.gov/foodhelp.

Olszewski previously requested the Maryland National Guard to provide humanitarian and emergency management assistance to county government.

To support food insecure families amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Olszewski also announced that the county is significantly expanding the number of locations for its Saturday food distribution program.

This week, Baltimore County will purchase 23,100 frozen, prepacked meals to distribute to food insecure residents at 30 sites across Baltimore County. Sites were identified through data-analysis by Baltimore County and the National Guard based on prior meal distribution. Previously, Baltimore County was providing weekend distribution at 11 sites.

“Ensuring every County resident has enough to eat during this crisis is a top priority,” Olszewski said. “Thanks to the Guard’s support, we can do even more for Baltimore County’s families and we’ll continue to work hand-in-hand to help provide food security, reduce the spread of the virus, and save lives.”

On Saturday April 11 at 11 a.m., meals will be distributed on a first come, first served basis at the following locations:

Arbutus Community Center, 865 Sulphur Spring Rd, Halethorpe, MD 21227
Bear Creek Elementary School, 1607 Melbourne Rd, Dundalk, MD 21222
Cockeysville PAL Center, 9836 Greenside Dr, Cockeysville, MD 21030
Colgate Elementary School, 401 51st St, Baltimore, MD 21224
Dundalk PAL Center, 15 Commerce Place Dundalk, Maryland 21222
Eastern Regional Park, 11723 Eastern Avenue Baltimore MD 21220
Edgemere Elementary School, 7201 North Point Rd, Edgemere, MD 21219
Edmondson Heights Elementary School, 1600 Langford Rd., Baltimore, MD 21207
Fullerton Elementary School, 4400 Fullerton Ave, Nottingham, MD 21236
Grange Elementary School, 2000 Church Rd, Dundalk, MD 21222
Halethorpe Elementary School, 4300 Maple Ave, Halethorpe, MD 21227
Hereford Senior Center, 510 Monkton Road, Monkton MD, 21111
Hillcrest Elementary School, 1500 Frederick Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228
Hillendale PAL Center 1111 Halstead Road Baltimore, Maryland 21234
Lansdowne Elementary School, 2301 Alma Rd, Baltimore, MD 21227
Mars Estates PAL Center 1498 East Homberg Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21221
Martin Boulevard Elementary School, 210 Riverton Rd, Baltimore, MD 21220
Parkville High School, 8711 Avondale Rd, Parkville, MD 21234
Perry Hall Elementary School, 9021 Belair Rd, Nottingham, MD 21236
Randallstown Elementary School, 9013 Liberty Rd, Randallstown, MD 21133
Reisterstown Senior Center, 12035 Reisterstown Rd, Reisterstown, MD 21136
Rogers Forge Elementary School, 250 Dumbarton Rd, Baltimore, MD 21212
Scotts Branch PAL Center 3651 Rolling Road Baltimore, Maryland 21244
Shady Spring PAL Center 8876 Goldenwood Road Baltimore, Maryland 21237
Warren Elementary School, 900 Bosley Rd, Cockeysville, MD 21030
West Town Elementary School, 401 Harlem Ln, Catonsville, MD 21228
Western Tech High School, 100 Kenwood Ave, Catonsville, MD 21228
Winfield PAL Center, 8304 Carlson Lane Baltimore, Maryland 21244
Woodbridge Elementary School, 1410 Pleasant Valley Drive, Baltimore, MD 21228
Woodmoor PAL Center, 7111 Croydon Road Baltimore, Maryland 21207
Meals are being prepared by the following Baltimore County caterers: Black & Gold Catering in Towson, Classic Catering in Owings Mills, Martin’s Caterers in Windsor Mill, Rouge Fine Catering in Hunt Valley, and Zeffert and Gold in Owings Mills.

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The Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks is continuing to offer limited take-away meals from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at seven different locations on a first come first serve basis.

Baltimore County Public Schools is continuing to provide meals for BCPS students.

Baltimore County has also released the BaltCo To-Go Map, allowing restaurants to self-report whether they are offering carryout and delivery services.

In anticipation of budget pressures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Thursday also announced that he has directed the Office of Budget and Finance to implement an immediate freeze on all non-essential hiring in county government.

The non-essential hiring freeze includes all positions except for first responders including Police officers, Firefighters, EMT’s, Paramedics, 911 staff, Sheriff’s deputies, Correctional officers and public health and human services workers responding to the COVD-19 crisis.

“We are in uncharted territory. While we do not know the full economic impact of this crisis, Baltimore County must take immediate and aggressive actions,” Olszewski added. “This is not an easy decision, but a fiscally responsible one. We will continue to prioritize our employees while continuing to provide essential government services for our residents.”

As a result of the impact of COVID-19, Baltimore County government currently projects that local revenues will decline by tens of millions of dollars in FY21.

Olszewski will announce his FY21 budget on Tuesday, April 14th.

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