UPDATES: WHAT'S NEW?
Montgomery County is pursuing a grant opportunity through the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. This grant would implement an Accountable Health Communities Model, which seeks to address gaps between clinical care and unmet social needs, including food insecurity. The Accountable Health Communities Model seeks to explore whether providing support for these needs will decrease emergency room visits and medical costs among high risk consumers. This will provide a tremendous service to the clients that we serve, and will hopefully help us to identify and eliminate various gaps between services.
 
We are thrilled to embark on this phenomenal possibility, but Montgomery County cannot do it alone. The County needs community partners like you to help make this a reality. MAHN has signed onto the project as a social service partner, and we encourage your pantries to learn more about the grant opportunity. If you have any questions, please contact Turea Hutson, Community Connections Manager, at (484) 647-6562 or thutson@montcopa.org
 
EVENTS: SAVE THE DATE!
MAHN's partnership with the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board continues with our Second Annual Valley Forge Food Drive! This year we'll be collecting donations from the community during the week of September 25 through October 1. This food drive commemorates Pope Francis' visit to the Delaware Valley and reinforces his commitment to social justice. Look for more details in the coming weeks!

Many of you have already registered for the second Montgomery County Emergency Food System Conference, hosted by HealthSpark Foundation and the MontCo Anti-Hunger Network (MAHN). If you haven't yet RSVP'ed, please do so at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/montgomery-county-emergency-food-system-conference-tickets-22231261301

The event will take place on Friday, May 20th at Advanced Living's Schwenckfeld Manor, 1292 Allentown Road, Lansdale PA 19446 from 10:00am-3:30pm. Lunch and beverages will be provided. RSVP by April 29th to reserve your seat!

If you have any questions, please contact sbreslin@philabundance.org.
MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS!
The Rachel Way, a gluten-free food pantry in Plymouth Meeting, was featured on Channel 6 Action News last month! Check out the video of Heather and Rachel Gannon's commitment to serving those in the community who face food insecurity and have special dietary needs: 
http://6abc.com/health/mother-daughter-open-local-pantry-for-people-with-food-allergies-/1238777/
GRANTS: WHAT'S AVAILABLE?
HealthSpark Foundation (formerly North Penn Community Health Foundation) is once again accepting applications for its food pantry capacity building program. Grants are available in 6 categories: 
  1.      Strategic/business planning
  2.      Staff and or board development
  3.      Transitioning to a choice pantry model
  4.      Systems or operating improvements
  5.      Data collection and evaluation
  6.      Physical and/or safety improvements to pantry space
Previous grants have helped pantries install new flooring, train volunteers on trauma-informed services, conduct research into inventory software options, conduct an organizational and client needs assessment and hire a consultant to help develop a strategic plan, among others. Funding for equipment such as refrigerators, freezers and shelving is available, provided it is part of a pantry’s transition to a choice model.
 
The maximum grant is $10,000, though the foundation expects most grants to be around $5,000. Deadline to submit is Friday, April 29, 2016. The application is available on the foundation’s website. Contact Tamela Luce with any questions and to discuss project ideas prior to applying.
 
COALITIONS: AROUND THE COUNTY!
The InterCounty Food Network will meet at Pottstown Cluster on May 2 at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Monica Oswald at foodcupboard@theopenlink.org.

The Nutrition Coalition will meet.on May 19, 2016 at Keystone Opportunity Center in Souderton, PA. Contact Britt Peterson for more information at Britt@mannaonmain.org.

Advocates Against Hunger will meet in late May 2016 Contact Kary LaFors at AdvocatesAHLaFors@aol.com for more information.

The Eastern MontCo Pantry Coalition will meet in the spring. Contact Pat Druhan at pdruhan@cadcom.org to get information about upcoming meetings. 

That’s all, thanks everyone!
MAHN Newsletter, April 2016
For more information, contact montcoantihungernetwork@gmail.com
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MontCo Anti-Hunger Network · 302 W Berks Street · Philadelphia, Pa 19122 · USA

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