Maryland Hunger Solutions Receives 2023 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award

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Brittani Riddle
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BALTIMORE, October 12, 2023 – Maryland Hunger Solutions has been named the 2023 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award recipient.

The Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute awarded the 2023 Henrietta Lacks Memorial Award to a collaboration between Maryland Hunger Solutions and Susan Gross, PhD, MPH, an associate scientist in the Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. The award was presented at the 2023 Henrietta Lacks Lecture, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research on October 7.

Baltimore City public schools implemented the Community Eligibility Provision after implementing legislation that was enacted by the state legislature. This program uses direct certification instead of free-and-reduced price meal forms to qualify schools and school districts for free breakfast and lunch, as well as afterschool snacks and supper, without their families having to file any documentation. Data compiled by Dr. Gross and Maryland Hunger Solutions documented that, when students are fed at school, food insecurity in the surrounding community also decreases.

“We were able to take that research and share it with our national organization, the Food Research & Action Center, and with other state organizations across the country so that people could really recognize that community eligibility as a program is a powerful tool to help address food insecurity,” said Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions.

Learn more about the collaboration and award online.


About Maryland Hunger Solutions 
Maryland Hunger Solutions works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, and well-being of Maryland residents.

About The Food Research & Action Center 
The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit and follow us on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram.