Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (center) signed an expansion of the Maryland Meals for Achievement into law recently. (Courtesy of Moore's office)
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (center) signed an expansion of the Maryland Meals for Achievement into law recently. (Courtesy of Moore's office)

Legislation Passes, Will Ensure More Free Student Meals

The Maryland Meals for Achievement In-Classroom Breakfast Program secured $4.5 million in additional funding on May 16 as Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed SB559, bringing the annual program funding to $12 million. MMA provides breakfast to students after the bell in schools where 40% or more of students qualify for free and reduced price meals. Previous budget shortfalls left out over 120 eligible schools in Maryland, including several in Prince George’s County, from reaping the benefits of this program.

“We applaud Governor Moore for taking bold, strategic action this session to end child hunger and poverty in our state, including this substantial investment to ensure every child can start the day fueled and ready to learn,” said No Kid Hungry Maryland Director Ayesha Holmes. “The Maryland Meals for Achievement in-classroom breakfast program has a proven track record of ensuring school breakfast reaches the students who need it most. With Maryland families facing shockingly high prices at the grocery store alongside the expiration of pandemic-era benefits, this investment could not have come at a more critical time.” 

Juwan Blocker, a lobbyist who supported this issue during the recent legislative session, was thrilled to attend the bill signing in Annapolis. His alma mater, Parkdale High School, will now be able to provide meals for more students than ever before. 

This additional funding will have to be re-appropriated every year, necessitating new legislation.

We previously covered this legislation; read more here.

North Brentwood Adopts Annual Budget

North Brentwood, a small town located between Hyattsville and Mount Rainier with a rich and largely unknown Black history, just adopted their annual budget.

In their recently adopted town budget for fiscal year (FY) 2023, the town is anticipated to run a balanced budget with $1,179,629 in both expenditures and revenues. 

The $542,878 in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding is planned to be spent by the town. Outside of ARPA funding, approximately 40% of town revenues are property tax collections; grants make up more than half of revenues. Grant distribution is by far the largest expenditure in the town, with operations of the legislative and executive branches of government coming in second.

North Brentwood Mayor Petrella Robinson and Councilmember Aaron Baynes both ran unopposed and retained their seats in the election held on May 1. Robinson has served as Mayor since 2007, and is the 13th Mayor in the town’s history. Elections in North Brentwood are nonpartisan, allowing any registered voter to participate regardless of partisan affiliation.

North Brentwood is the first majority-Black incorporated town in Prince George’s County and the second in Maryland, after only Anne Arundel’s Highland Beach. At time of incorporation in 1924, North Brentwood may have been the only town in America without a single white voter.

The town, located in the Gateway Arts District, hosts the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center

In the 2020 census, the town population was 593. 

A town newsletter is delivered to each home in the town every month. 

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