History of the Maryland Food Bank
The Maryland Food Bank was founded in 1979 to address the growing needs of people seeking emergency food assistance in Maryland. Since then, we have grown our food distribution, operations, and programs to better serve our network partners- and ultimately the more than 460,000 people in Maryland who rely on the food we provide each year.
Our Food Distribution Has Grown
The Maryland Food Bank started out providing food to 38 network partners, mostly in Baltimore City. Today, we serve more than 600 food providers statewide, including soup kitchens, food pantries, emergency shelters, after-school programs, senior centers, and other feeding programs.
In our first year, we distributed 400,000 pounds of food. In Fiscal Year 2012, the Maryland Food Bank distributed more than 22 million pounds of food – the equivalency of 22 million meals!
The Maryland Food Bank was the third food bank in the country and the first food bank on the East Coast.
In April 1979, the Maryland Food Bank was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers and the Maryland Food Committee to provide food for people in need and began distributing food from a warehouse on Fairlawn Avenue in Baltimore City. The Maryland Food Bank was the first food bank on the East Coast.
In December 1980, the Maryland Food Bank opened a warehouse in Salisbury to better serve the hungry on the Eastern Shore.
The Maryland Food Bank began operating from a 52,000 square foot warehouse on Franklintown Road in Baltimore City.
Harvest for the Hungry began hosting food drives to encourage the general public to donate to their local food bank.
Bread on the Water, our purchased food program, was transferred to the Maryland Food Bank from Catholic Charities. This program, which had been in operation since 1985, provides a consistent supply of certain food staples that are not donated in sufficient quantities so that food providers can get all the food they need in one location.
Second Helping began operating as a program of the Maryland Food Bank.
The Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore moved to its current 10,000 square foot warehouse on Owens Branch Road.
Produce People Care at the Maryland Wholesale Produce Market in Jessup, part of our Fresh Food For Families Program, began donating produce to the Maryland Food Bank, Capital Area Food Bank, and Food Link in Annapolis.
The Maryland Food Bank released the results of "Hunger 1997: The Faces & Facts," the first hunger study to identify who and how many are in need of food relief in the state (done in collaboration with America's Second Harvest).
The Maryland Food Bank's board of directors developed a Five Year Vision to increase food distribution by 50% or 5 million pounds by 2004.
The Maryland Food Bank was one of the first seven organizations to be to be awarded the Maryland Nonprofits Association of Nonprofit Organizations’ Standards for Excellence. With this certification, we are able to demonstrate to the public, our donors, and our constituents that we are committed to the highest industry standards and are accountable to the community we serve.
The Maryland Food Bank Eastern Shore began distributing fresh produce with support from a grant from Kraft Foods.
Kids Cafe began serving snacks and meals to children at existing after-school programs on the Eastern Shore.
The Food Bank released "Hunger in Maryland 2001", revealing a significant rise in food assistance throughout the state, particularly among children and the elderly. This study was done in collaboration with America’s Second Harvest.
Second Helping began collecting prepared meals on evenings and weekends with support from grants from the UPS Foundation and Coleman Foundation.
Harvest for the Hungry won national recognition at the America’s Second Harvest National Conference.
In partnership with the USDA and the Maryland Cooperative Extension, the Maryland Food Bank began offering Nutrition Education – including nutrition, food safety, and food stamp outreach – to our network of community food providers.
The United Food Committee Food Sorting Center was built to meet the need for a better workplace for volunteers in our Baltimore warehouse. The Sorting Center was constructed by the Baltimore Carpenters Union and was dedicated to the United Food Committee and Harvest for the Hungry.
Dozens of food industry donors’ trucks wound their way through downtown Baltimore to draw attention to the issue of hunger on the first National Hunger Awareness Day.
Hundreds of food providers in our network responded to our 2003 hunger survey designed to gauge the impact of the strained economy on the people they serve.
The Maryland Food Bank recognized William Donald Schaefer and other key partners at our Partnership Reception and Awards Ceremony.
The Maryland Food Bank purchased and renovated an 87,000 square foot warehouse at 2200 Halethorpe Farms Road just outside Baltimore City. Distribution from this new facility began in November.
The Maryland Food Bank received a grant from ConAgra's Feeding Children Better program to start Kids Cafes in Baltimore City.
Community Action Food Bank in Harford County becomes the sixth Subsidiary Distribution Organization in our network, with support from C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.
In March, the Maryland Food Bank opens its first Kids Cafe in Baltimore City at Paul's Place in Washington Village.
The Maryland Food Bank celebrates the grand opening of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Distribution Center at 2200 Halethorpe Farms Road in May.
The Center for Poverty Solutions closes and the Maryland Food Bank adopts the following programs: School Pantry, Super Pantry, Edible School Yard, Lawyer's Campaign Against Hunger, Produce Give-Away and Baltimore City Department of Social Services Emergency Food Program.
The Maryland Food Bank releases "Hunger in Maryland 2006," in collaboration with America's Second Harvest. The study shows that the food bank serves 50,000 different people each week and 235,000 people annually. Nationwide, food banks have seen an increase of people their charitable food providers are serving from 23 million in 2001 to 25 million in 2006.
The Kids Cafe Program in Baltimore expands to five sites.
Bill Ewing, Executive Director of the Maryland Food Bank retires.
The Maryland Food Bank names Deborah Flateman as its new CEO.
The Maryland Food Bank increases distribution by 3.2 million pounds.
The Maryland Food Bank revolutionizes its volunteer sorting system by switching to a converyor belt.
The Maryland Food Bank developes the Purchase / Share Program with Baltimore City.
The Maryland Food Bank begins construction on a new freezer for its Eastern Shore Branch.
The Maryland Food Bank launches Pantry on the Go, a mobile food pantry targeting rural areas.
The Maryland Food Bank launches its new mission statement as: "To lead the movement and nurture the belief that together we can improve the lives of Marylanders by ending hunger."
In August 2010, the Maryland Food Bank opened FoodWorks, its 6,000-foot community kitchen and culinary training program.
The Maryland Food Bank merged with Food Resources, Inc. (in Hagerstown), to creat the Maryland Food Bank's Western Branch.
Began producing meals for Youth Feeding Programs in-house. Meals are prepared by students participating in the FoodWorks culinary training program in the Bouer Community Kitchen using fresh local ingredients from Maryland farms.
Expanded Farm to Food Bank Network to include 51 farms providing more than 4 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year.