Food Access Grant Awards Announced

text of News Release

Montgomery County Food Access Grants Awarded to 38 Community Organizations

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

       Montgomery County awarded 38 food assistance grants to community groups providing food assistance to vulnerable residents and families in the county.  A total of $1.2 million was appropriated to increase food access during the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-profit organizations were eligible for up to $75,000.  A portion of the funds will be used for partnerships with ethnic grocery stores to increase the availability of culturally appropriate food assistance, as well as deliver hot meals to residents and purchasing food from local kosher markets to distribute to seniors.

       “The need for food assistance has grown dramatically because of this pandemic, and I am appreciative of the work with many of our community partners to get food to our residents as best as possible,” said County Executive Marc Elrich.  “We will continue our work together to address the needs of our residents during this difficult time.” 

       “The economic hardships experienced by countless Montgomery County residents as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have created ever-increasing and sustained demands on food banks, nonprofit providers and community service partners providing food assistance,” said Council President Sidney Katz. “We are deeply grateful for our community partners and their ongoing efforts to combat food insecurity during this extremely challenging time. The Council is committed to providing the resources necessary to assist in these essential efforts across our community.”

       The organizations receiving grants, ranging from nearly $7,000 to $60,000, are:

  • Adventist Community Services
  • AHC, Inc.
  • American Diversity Group
  • American Muslim Senior Society
  • Bethel World
  • CASA
  • Catholic Charities
  • Chinese Cultural and Community Center
  • Direct Support for Immigrants
  • Gaithersburg HELP
  • Germantown Black Rock Hub
  • Goshen United Methodist Church
  • Help for Life Foundation
  • Hindu American Community Services
  • Hughes United Methodist Church
  • Humanity First USA
  • Indonesian American Association
  • International Cultural Athletic Association
  • Islamic Center of Maryland
  • Islamic Community Center of Potomac
  • Jewish Council for the Aging
  • Kingdom Fellowship AME Church
  • Kings and Priests Courts International Ministries
  • Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington
  • Latin American Youth Center
  • Manna Food Center
  • Nourish Now
  • Rainbow CDC
  • Salvation Army
  • Shepherd’s Table
  • Silver Spring Christian Reformed Church
  • So What Else
  • The Living Legends Awards for Service to Humanity
  • Up2Us Foundation
  • Vietnamese Americans Services
  • Washington Youth Foundation
  • Women Who Care Ministries
  • YMCA Youth & Family Services

       The COVID-19 Emergency Food Access Grant is a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Montgomery County Food Council (MCFC) and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF). The County’s Food Security Task Force, recently formed by the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS), reviewed and determined all grant awards. The HIF is the fiscal agent for the program and will award the money.

       DHHS, along with Montgomery County Public Schools, the MCFC and local food assistance providers have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the increasing need for food assistance across the county. To address food insecurity and plan for a greater need, OEMHS created the Food Security Task Force, made up of county staff, community partners and food assistance recipients. A strategic plan to address food insecurity and priorities for future food assistance spending is being developed.

       For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website and follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD.

       Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD

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Media Contact:  Mary Anderson,

HIF Scholarship Opportunities Available for Nursing, Mental Health, and Public Health Students!

I. Healthcare Initiative Foundation ADN-to-BSN Nursing Scholarship:

This award provides scholarship support of $1,500 each academic year for students accepted into MC’s nursing program who intend to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing through the ADN-to-BSN dual admission program at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Bilingual students are particularly encouraged to apply, but this opportunity is open to any nursing student who meets the criteria.

Additional benefits for recipients will include healthcare interpreting certification or cultural communications training, as well as participation in an annual hands-on interprofessional collaboration activity with students in other healthcare fields.

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation scholarships are structured to provide ongoing support to recipients during your studies at Montgomery College and at the Universities at Shady Grove through completion of your bachelor’s degree, as long as you continue to meet the criteria.


  • Need based;
  • Montgomery County resident;
  • Student already accepted or enrolled in MC’s nursing program with the intent to enroll in the ADN-to-BSN dual admission program with the University of Maryland School of Nursing at the Universities at Shady Grove;
  • Meets the eligibility requirements for the Dual Enrollment nursing program, including an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and a science GPA of at least 2.75; and
  • Must commit to an internship/clinical rotation at a nonprofit (or hospital); and maintain academic standing in their degree program.

II. Healthcare Initiative Foundation Building Career Pathways Scholarship for Mental Health and Public Health Students:

This award provides scholarship support of $1,500 each academic year for mental health and public health students who intend to earn their bachelor’s degree in social work or public health at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Bilingual students are particularly encouraged to apply, but this opportunity is open to any student who meets the criteria.

Additional benefits for recipients will include healthcare interpreting certification or cultural communications training, as well as participation in an annual hands-on interprofessional collaboration activity with students in other healthcare fields.

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation scholarships are structured to provide ongoing support to recipients during your studies at Montgomery College and at the Universities at Shady Grove through completion of your bachelor’s degree, as long as you continue to meet the criteria.


    • Montgomery County resident;
    • In need of financial assistance;
    • Mental health or public health major;
    • Intends to pursue bachelor’s degree in social work or public health at The Universities at Shady Grove;
    • Must commit to an internship/clinical rotation at a nonprofit (or hospital); and
    • Maintain academic standing in their degree program.

Student applicants may apply for the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) scholarships and other Montgomery College Foundation scholarship opportunities at Although the fall application deadline passed on July 31, Montgomery College is holding the HIF scholarships open until September 30.

Student applicants may apply for this and other Montgomery College Foundation scholarship opportunities at Although the fall application deadline passed on July 31, we are holding the HIF scholarships open until September 30.

To apply, please follow these steps:

Go to the Montgomery College Foundation Scholarship Application website:

Click on “Sign in With Your Institution.” Use your Montgomery College MY MC credentials to login to the site, powered by Academic Works. Read and follow all instructions provided on the home page.

If this is your first time logging in, you will need to complete the General Application, located by clicking on the ‘Application’ link in the top menu bar. To be considered for the scholarship, please ensure your application is complete. Make sure to answers both essay questions and sign and submit your online scholarship application.

To search for information regarding either Healthcare Initiative Foundation scholarship, click on “Opportunities. Click the “Apply” button next to the HIF scholarship that corresponds with your area of study, answer the questions, and then click “Submit. You will be notified of your application status by email. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will receive an award letter in the mail. Please be sure to complete all requirements on the award letter.

For questions regarding the scholarship application process, please contact the Scholarship Office: by email at or by telephone at (240) 567-4021.

Healthcare Initiative Foundation Grant Supports MobileMed and Aspire Collaborative Program: Integrated Behavioral Health Services for Underserved Montgomery County Residents

Bethesda, MD—Mobile Medical Care, Inc. (MobileMed) and Aspire Counseling are pleased to announce that they were jointly awarded a $100,000 grant by the Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) that continues support for integrated behavioral health services for MobileMed’s low-income primary care population. HIF funds will enhance quality of patient care by ensuring proactive screening and treatment for behavioral health conditions. HIF, a 501(c)(3) private foundation, is known for its commitment to improving safety net services in Montgomery County, funding programs that are typically underfunded and represent significant service gaps.

The MobileMed/Aspire collaboration started as a pilot program six years ago. Recognizing that mental health and physical health are interrelated, the program’s initial goal was to increase the number of patients screened for anxiety and depression when they visited one of MobileMed’s primary care clinics. As this collaboration has evolved and expanded, the program now has three overall goals: to move closer to the goal of universal behavioral health screening for all MobileMed patients; to ensure that patients whose behavioral health screening indicates that they are at risk are assessed and linked with appropriate follow-up treatment; and to provide effective onsite therapy services by Aspire staff to as many MobileMed patients as possible. HIF’s support is integral to developing a sustainable model that achieves significant outcomes for underserved patients.

For over 45 years, MobileMed’s mission has been to improve the health of low-income people who face the greatest barriers to care access to a community health center. A 501(c)(3), MobileMed provides high quality, comprehensive primary and preventive care, delivered in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. Each year, MobileMed serves over 4,000 of Montgomery County’s most vulnerable adult residents through 14,000 medical encounters. Aspire Counseling’s vision is to be an active partner in a community in which all people have access to needed, effective, evidence-based mental health and wellness services. Based in Gaithersburg, Aspire, a 501(c)(3), serves more than 1,500 people each year through office-based and community-based programs. Its community programs are designed to meet the mental health needs of low-income, uninsured and underinsured people within Montgomery County.

More information on MobileMed is available at or by contacting or 301-841-0825. More information about Aspire Counseling is available at or by contacting or 301- 978-9750.

Healthcare Initiative Foundation Awards Grant for Scholarships to Support Students in Nursing & Social Work Programs at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG)

The Healthcare Initiative Foundation of Montgomery County awarded The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) a $648,900 grant, which will fund 112 scholarships over five years to support students at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Social Work program and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) School of Nursing. A primary goal of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation is to enhance and expand the workforce development in the healthcare field within Montgomery County. The scholarships will provide needed pathways to the degrees and careers that will directly power tomorrow’s healthcare workforce. 

In addition, the grant will support four innovative initiatives to help prepare the scholarship recipients to meet the health and wellness needs of the community and connect them with future employers in their professional fields. The first initiative will help students learn interdisciplinary practices, rules, and responsibilities, and gain experience at the Mercy Health Clinic. The Mercy Health Clinic is a free, not-for-profit, non-sectarian, community based primary healthcare provider serving uninsured, low-income adult residents in Montgomery County. The second initiative will place students in clinic rotations at Montgomery County non-profits in the healthcare field which will enhance the students’ knowledge of community health and develop a greater understanding of the community.

In an effort to respond to the pressing need for culturally competent social workers with experience serving children under the age of 12, social work scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to complete their field placements with non-profits serving this age group. The third initiative will establish a Bilingual Writing Mentor Program to support the academic success of 20 students whose first language is not English.