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John F. Ross – On the Front Lines of Food Insecurity in Montgomery County: How Nourishing Bethesda Feeds 1,400 Every Week


Posted on June 4th

John F. Ross, Director, Nourishing Bethesda

During the midst of the COVID pandemic in the summer of 2020,
concerned parishioners at Bethesda’s St. John’s Norwood Episcopal Church met with Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson concerning poverty in our community. The church members determined that joining forces with private, public, service, and faith communities would be the most effective means to address food insecurity. As a result, the Nourishing Bethesda coalition (NB) was born. NB launched its first initiative on August 14, 2020 with its highly successful family food distribution. Since then, every Friday afternoon, coalition members distribute healthy produce and shelf-stable groceries to nearly 330 households at the B-CC Rescue Squad. Fifty volunteers from the community pack, transport, and distribute food packages every week.

John F. Ross, Director or Nourishing Bethesda, is an accomplished writer, editor, and explorer. His most recent book is Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of
Speed, a narrative non-fiction book for St. Martin’s Press. He has appeared on more than 50 radio and television programs, keynoted a dozen conferences around the country, and given talks at the
Explorers Club of New York, NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Pritzker Military Library, and the Smithsonian Institution.

He has helped start and run two magazines, been a producer for CBS News’ Face the Nation, and edited many large-format books for Smithsonian Institution Press.

Instructions for the Nourishing Bethesda Drive-Through Family Food Distribution

Distribution occurs every Friday from 1-3 pm while supplies last at the following address:
Bethesda Chevy-Chase Rescue Squad (at the corner of Old Georgetown Road and Battery Lane), 5020 Battery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814
Please enter from the Battery Lane entrance and remain in your vehicles to receive groceries. Walk-ups are welcome! Available Items: Fresh produce, Shelf-stable food items, Bread, Cereal, Eggs, Add-ons such as Butter, Chicken, and Holiday Treats as available.




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