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Berliner says budget aggression will not stand

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Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner reassured activists and professionals in the Jewish community last week that the County’s proposed budget that includes a 1 percent cut in funding for nonprofits will not stand.

“It just simply can’t stand, and I know my colleagues feel the same way,” Berliner told the 60 participants at the 12th annual Jewish Community Relations Council’s Montgomery County Advocacy Day on April 6.

The reduced funding is proposed to come out of the Department of Health and Human Services Non-Developmental Disabilities Provider Services Contracts budget, which many nonprofits rely on to provide services to County residents.

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Council determines method to fight local hunger problem

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ROCKVILLE – Hoping to get the County’s food banks and charities on the same page, the Montgomery County Council passed a bill that would require the County Executive to develop a single plan to fight hunger in the County.

The bill calls for the County Executive to develop a five-year plan to reduce hunger by 10 percent each year, a goal that the bill’s lead sponsor Roger Berliner (D-1) previously said was to serve as a guideline. 

Berliner said the bill’s aim is to coordinate efforts between the county’s agencies and charities to provide meals to the about 78,000 people in the County that do not know where their next meal is coming from.

The County Executive has until Dec. 1 to finalize his plan.

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County Council mulls plans to reduce hunger

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ROCKVILLE – Two years ago, Andy Burness volunteered with the Food Recovery Network to drop off food to a local women’s shelter.

Burness and the group of volunteers arrived with 25 large plastic bins full of food to drop off, but upon arrival, there were already six full bins of food sitting on the kitchen counter.

“We didn’t know what to do,” said Burness, chair of Montgomery County Security Collaborative. “How can you bring fresh delicious food to a shelter and take it back? But conversely, how can you leave that food for the women in the shelter knowing most of it will go to waste?”

On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council heard testimony on Bill 19-16, which proposes the County develop a five-year plan by Dec. 1 to tackle food insecurity. The Health and Human Services committee will review the bill June 23.

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