LEONARDTOWN, Md. – The Healthy Eating & Active Living (HEAL) action team of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership (HSMP) will host a Healthy Food Drive at the 2018 HSMP Annual Meeting, which will be held on September 13, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center in California, Maryland. All members of the community are invited to attend the HSMP Annual Meeting or to drop off healthy food donations during the event. For more information or to register as an attendee, please visit: www.healthystmarys.com/hsmpannual2018.

More than 9% of St. Mary’s County residents are food insecure, meaning they do not have regular access to healthy food such as fresh produce, whole grains and low-fat milk. Lack of healthy food has been linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and delayed cognitive development in children. In response to this growing health issue, partners of the HEAL action team are working to increase the amount of healthy foods that are distributed in our community by hosting and encouraging others to host Healthy Food Drives.

For examples of healthy food donations and tips to host your own Healthy Food Drive, visit: www.healthystmarys.com/healthy-food-drive

Healthy Eating and Active Living are essential in the prevention and control of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. These chronic diseases contribute to the leading causes of death nationally and here in St. Mary’s County. The Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) action team of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership brings together community organizations and residents to coordinate local action around healthy eating and active living. Joining the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership is free and new members are always welcome, visit www.healthystmarys.com for information on membership or activities.