Farm Focus on our Partner, the Franciscan Center in Baltimore City
Founded in 1968 by the Franciscan Sisters of Baltimore, the Franciscan Center is in its 50th year of service to the Baltimore community. What began with the Sisters handing out peanut butter sandwiches and coffee at the back door of their convent on Maryland Avenue has grown to serve every zip code, offering dignity, hope and the chance for a new beginning to men, women and children who are among Baltimore’s most vulnerable citizens.
The Franciscan Center’s programs operate as a “one-stop shop” for families and individuals in crisis from throughout the City. The Center serves as many as 700 men, women and children daily, five days a week throughout the year, providing food, clothing and toiletry items, basic computer skills training, job readiness programs and a range of emergency financial assistance that is truly unique.
We welcome our guests where they are – wherever that might be – with dignity and respect, and without judgment. In this spirit, the Franciscan Center is committed to helping improve public health in Baltimore long term by introducing fresh, healthy food to the families and individuals we serve – most of whom have limited access to fresh vegetables.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Franciscan Friars Conventual, in establishing “Little Portion Farm”. This exciting project will make an important difference in the Baltimore community, providing “farm-to-table” food for our guests. Our Food Services Director, Kim Gregory, will truly enjoy working with the bounty of “Little Portion Farm”.
The Center began its 50th year of service to the community with new leadership, as well as exciting plans for our next 50 years. Executive Director Jeffrey Griffin joined the team in August, 2017, and he has brought ideas for a variety of new programs and services designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the people we serve. He is supported in these efforts by the Center’s Director of Development and Marketing, Meg Ducey, along with 17 other full and part time staff. With more than 98 percent of our funding from private sources and more than 50 % of our work force on a daily basis made up of volunteers, the Franciscan Center is truly community supported. Our programs are delivered by Marylanders, for Marylanders in the Franciscan spirit of humble and joyful service to the poor.