CAMBRIDGE – A $1 million grant awarded to University of Maryland Shore Regional Health by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will be dedicated to the Four Eleven Kitchen facility in the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s Packing House project now nearing completion in Cambridge.
“The initiative is a strong complement to UM SRH’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together,” a statement from Shore Health said.
The grant funds, which will be distributed over a two-year period, are designated to support the creation of the 9,000-square-foot commercial kitchen that will support local small businesses, food entrepreneurs and farmers, and serve as a site for culinary and nutritional education programs.
UM SRH also donated all of its commercial appliances that were formerly used in the kitchen at the UM Shore Medical Center at Dorchester hospital, which was closed in late September 2021 when the new freestanding medical facility, UM Shore Regional Health at Cambridge, opened for patient care.
“Four Eleven Kitchen is thrilled to be the recipient of both financial support and commercial appliances from Shore Regional Health, which will further our mission to break barriers that prevent consistent access to healthy foods, education and economic advancement, and also to add value back to the quality of life of this community,” said Amanda Kidd, founder and owner of Four Eleven Kitchen. “My dream to empower and elevate our food community appears to be coming true through the vision and continued support of the Packing House developers, funders, shared-use kitchen members, volunteers and community partnerships.”
“Food security, nutrition, job creation and community engagement are all key components in advancing population health, which is a major priority for Shore Regional Health,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO of UM Shore Regional Health. “The Four Eleven Kitchen will lower the barriers to entry for food entrepreneurs and provide a venue for Dorchester-based producers to co-locate, share costs, test products, and conduct workforce development/training and nutritional education programs. It will also serve as to create jobs in food production, processing, distribution and marketing of locally sourced value-added food while enhancing access to fresh healthy food for consumers.”