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Baltimore Organizations Host Mother’s Day Brunch for Underserved Community as part of FISH Project

May 10, 2021

BALTIMORE (May 14, 2019) – United Way of Central Maryland, McCormick & Company, the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) and J.J. McDonnell served more than 200 meals to economically disadvantaged area residents at a healthy Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday at the Franciscan Center as part of the FISH (Feeding Individuals to Support Health) Project. The menu featured locally and sustainably grown and harvested shrimp from IMET.

Launched in June 2018, the FISH Project aims to provide area residents living in underserved communities across the region with access to healthy, high quality sources of protein. In Central Maryland, more than 311,000 people don’t have access to healthy food*. Additionally, it’s likely that low-income families already struggle to afford food. The average Maryland SNAP (food stamps) benefit awarded is just $30 per week, per person — and typically the cheapest grocery options are not the healthiest.

“Change happens together,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Maryland. “Working with our partners in the FISH Project, we’re able to provide a special, nutritious meal to people in need—and mothers especially.”

The partnership includes scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and UMBC who are conducting aquaculture research at IMET to develop the next generation of environmentally sustainable methods for farming marine fish.

The shrimp were grown in IMET’s Aquaculture Research Center using advanced technology that ensures healthy, nutritious fish produced in a totally sustainable way with no release of pollution to the environment.


While IMET supplies the fish, JJ McDonnell processes and distributes the fish to partner nonprofits that reach the underserved community directly, like the Franciscan Center and Maryland Food Bank. McCormick’s Flavor for Life® program also provides simple, healthy recipes that utilize low-cost ingredients, which are distributed to the community along with the fresh fish.

To learn more about the FISH project, or to find out more information about each organization’s role in the program, or to find shrimp recipes, please visit https://imet.usmd.edu/fish.

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United Way of Central Maryland makes our communities stronger. We work directly with families and individuals to keep them in their homes and out of shelters, with kids who are falling behind in school, and with people who need easier access to healthy food and jobs that pay the bills. We achieve all this with the help of our partners: volunteers, donors, other nonprofits and area businesses who share our passion for making lives and neighborhoods stable and healthier.

* SOURCE: 311,050 individuals in central Maryland are food insecure, according to Map the Meal Gap 2019: Overall Food Insecurity in Maryland by County in 2016, published by Feeding America.

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