Baltimore Food Policy Initiative


Our Work

Summary Briefs:

The Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI) – an intergovernmental collaboration between the Department of Planning (DOP), Office of Sustainability (BOS), Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), and Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) – was founded in 2010 to “improve health outcomes by increasing access to healthy affordable food in Baltimore City’s food deserts”

With each agency lending its expertise, the City creates comprehensive strategies that tackle food access from many perspectives, and implements programs and policies with multi-sector support.

Policy – City, State and Federal
Food Environment Map
Food Desert Retail Strategy
Food Policy Advisory Committee
Homegrown Baltimore

The Department of Planning has led the effort to refine the City’s food agenda and priorities through sustainability and food access lenses, and has incorporated food into a variety of plans and policies. The Baltimore City Health Department is committed to making Baltimore a city where all residents can realize their full health potential, through cross-cutting collaborations and innovative community-based food access programming. The Baltimore Development Corporation, recognizing that food is a catalyst for economic development, offers retailers, small food businesses and food entrepreneurs access to information, resources and incentives.

BFPI partners with many other city agencies, as well as community organizations, nonprofits, academic and research institutions, businesses, and others.

Our History


  • Passed enabling language in state legislature to allow for personal property tax abatements for supermarkets to locate or renovate in or near food deserts
  • Released 2015 Food Environment Map and Report


  • After ongoing advocacy, a provision to allow online SNAP benefits included in the 2014 Farm Bill
  • Launched Homegrown Baltimore Employee Wellness CSA
  • Food Access Planner and Food Retail Economic Development Officer hired.



  • Launched SNAP benefits at the Baltimore Farmers Market and Bazaar
  • Launched Healthy Carryout Strategy at Lexington and Hollins Market. Program grew to include Northeast Market and 34 vendors in total.


  • Change in state policy to allow first-year farmers’ markets in food deserts to accept federal nutrition assistance
  • Updated health code to allow residents to own chickens, rabbits, goats and bees



Recent Media

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The Baltimore Food Policy Initiative is currently funded and supported by the following organizations: Kaiser PermanenteAbell Foundation, and Baltimore Community Foundation.