New Cupboards Project Mini-Pantry Opens in Silver Spring

New cupboard pantry being unveiled in Montgomery County Maryland    Michele Granola

With a round of spirited applause and smiles, the newest Priority Partners Cupboards Project self-serve mini-pantry was unveiled at Oak Chapel United Methodist Church last Saturday, May 18. The first to be installed in Montgomery County, the mini-pantry joins the growing network of Priority Partners neighborhood mini-pantries and represents yet another triumph in Johns Hopkins Health Plans’ strategy to confront food insecurity in our Maryland communities.

The fun, free launch event was attended by Priority Partners’ Executive Director of Finance Jeff Lehrfeld, Montgomery County Director of Food Systems Resilience Heather Bruskin and other county and community leaders. Pastor Sherri Wood-Powe of Oak Chapel spoke briefly, sharing her excitement about the new mini-pantry. Although Oak Chapel operates a small food hub at the church, the new addition will provide a valuable 24/7 resource for the community.

Started in 2021, the Cupboards Project is a multiyear program of community partners aimed at providing food and resources to remote or underserved neighborhoods. Since its inception, the Cupboards Project has placed three mini-pantries in Maryland neighborhoods and launched three “Club On The Go” mobile pantries. Working under the motto “Take What You Need, Leave What You Can,” the custom-built mini-pantries provide free healthy food and nutrition resources to remote or underserved neighborhoods.

The new installation at Oak Chapel United Methodist brings the total number of free-standing mini-pantries to four, with yet another planned to open at Wicomico Presbyterian Church in Wicomico County in June! Our sincere gratitude to Michele's Granola, whose ongoing support of the Cupboard program and generous donations have been helping supply our mini-pantries. A special thanks also to Jazzman Howard Jung and his trio for providing the perfect music and mood for this event.

Johns Hopkins Health Plans is honored to be part of yet another successful phase in the Cupboards Project and another meaningful step toward advancing our ambition to eliminate food insecurity and improve the health and well-being of our communities. Learn more about the Priority Partners Cupboards Project at