May 5, 2020
We’re at our best when we all work together.
Since its late March launch, Heart of the Park, a partnership between Harbor Park Garage and several local organizations and businesses, has distributed about 13,000 meals to Baltimoreans in need and to those on the front lines, serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative includes daily meal distribution at the downtown Baltimore garage, where visitors can head to the third floor to pick up free boxed lunches and dinners, and packages of rolls or loaves of bread.
In addition to the meals given out at the garage, Heart of the Park delivers weekend meals to the COVID units at three local hospitals: Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland’s downtown hospital, and St. Joseph Medical Center. In early May, Heart of the Park also launched “New Medical Center Wednesday,” when it donates 50 meals to healthcare workers at a different medical center each week (starting with Mercy Hospital).
The Heart of the Park initiative is headquartered at Harbor Park Garage but its success is driven by the generosity and creativity of several businesses and organizations located throughout Baltimore City. The garage’s partners include:
Fells Point mainstay Pierpoint Restaurant, and its chef/owner Nancy Longo, have been the backbone of the Heart of the Park initiative from day one. Chef Longo’s celebrated restaurant has been an integral – and delicious – part of the Fells Point neighborhood for years. She is locally (and nationally) famous for her creative takes on Chesapeake cuisine.
Since Heart of the Park launched in March, Chef Longo and her team have created interesting and healthy meals to share with the community every day. They’ve been working, safely and tirelessly, to make sure the community has healthy and tasty lunches and dinners every day.
Starting in May, H&S Bakery is donating loaves of bread and packages of rolls for distribution at the garage – helping locals in need fill their pantries during this tough time.
H&S Bakery opened in Fells Point in 1943; visitors often notice the yeasty scent of baking bread when they’re strolling around the neighborhood’s historic cobblestone streets. In the years since, the bakery, which creates products sold under several brand names, has established itself as a generous community member, donating time, resources and bread products to many local organizations – including directly to Baltimoreans, through Heart of the Park.
Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is working with Heart of the Park to solicit, organize and distribute the funds necessary to keep meal distribution going.
The organization is a champion of downtown businesses and events – part of the dream team that coordinates major city happenings like Baltimore Restaurant Week. During the COVID-19 emergency, Downtown Partnership has put its organizational skills to work, acting as a hub for community resources and a helpful collector and disseminator of information and funds.
Italian Cultural Center of Maryland
Food is an integral part of so many cultures but perhaps no cultural group is as closely tied to culinary glory as Italians. The Italian Cultural Center of Maryland, a group that educates and promotes Italian culture and heritage among Baltimoreans, is tapping into the culture’s great culinary tradition, assisting Heart of the Park with food donations.
As need persists in Baltimore, Heart of the Park will continue to provide meals for hungry locals and healthcare workers on the front lines. Harbor Park Garage management aims to keep the program growing as long as the need remains – and to do that, they plan to expand partnerships with local organizations of all types.
The collaboration between the garage, restaurants, associations and other local businesses has been a bright spot in the midst of a tough battle against COVID-19. By banding together, Charm City’s businesses help keep local residents in need and those on the front lines fed – and fed well.
Harbor Park Garage is located at 55 Market Place in downtown Baltimore. For more information and current news about Heart of the Park, including information about how to contribute to help feed Baltimoreans in need, visit: INFO
Pierpoint Restaurant is located at 1822 Aliceanna Street in Fells Point. For more information, call 410-675-2080 or visit https://www.pierpointrestaurant.com/