RELEASE: City Announces Two-Week Closure of All Recreation Centers

RELEASE: City Announces Two-Week Closure of All Recreation Centers


March 13, 2020
Lester Davis

Baltimore Announces Halt to Programming for Two-Weeks at All City-Operated Recreation Centers
40 centers will pause programming activities and instead serve as food distribution hubs.

BALTIMORE, MD. — Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young and the Director of Recreation and Parks Reginald Moore announced today that all of the City's recreation centers would cease offering programming for two weeks, beginning on Monday.

40 of the City's centers will instead serve as food distribution hubs, where school-age children can pick up a midday snack, and prepared dinners in the evening.

With Governor Hogan ordering a state-wide closure of all public schools for a two-week period beginning on Monday, Mayor Young said using the rec centers as food distribution sites helps ensure students don't go hungry.

Beginning Monday, students will be able to pick up a snack beginning at 2 p.m. and receive dinner starting at 5 p.m. at any one of 40 recreation center sites. A list of sites can be found here.

The dinner program will end at 7:00 p.m.

Mayor Young's announcement is in addition to the Baltimore City Public School System operating 10 food distribution sites next week where students can receive breakfast and lunch between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. A list of the 10 sites can be found here.

Mayor Young said that eliminating regular programming at the City's recreation centers is intended to help reduce the risk of community spread as jurisdictions throughout the state seek to get a handle on the evolving COVID-19 virus.

"I take seriously my duty to protect the health of the general public," Mayor Young said. "We are putting in place a very commonsense protocol that many other jurisdictions throughout the state and country are turning to in an attempt to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus."

"During this period of social distancing, we encourage residents to take advantage of our many outdoor recreation amenities," Director Moore said. "Our parks, trails, athletic courts and playgrounds remain open and available to the public. We ask residents to use outdoor spaces thoughtfully and in accordance with public health guidelines."

The City plans to increase the number of sites serving as food distribution hubs while schools are closed.