Why, then, is hunger such a pervasive problem in our communities?
The Maryland Food Bank has struggled to fight hunger since its beginning in 1979. Over the last seven years, we have more than tripled our food distribution, and new records were set in FY14 with distribution of nearly 37 million meals to families in need.
Unfortunately, increases in efficiency and distribution have been shadowed by increases in need.
Currently, individuals within the Maryland Food Bank’s service area* collectively miss almost 85 million meals each year.
In our service area, almost half-a-million individuals have reported food insecurity, or the inability to consistently access food. That means nearly 1 in 8 people experience hunger, and for children, that figure increases to 1 in 5.
While the homeless remain the most visible faces of hunger, increasingly our clients are children, seniors, and the working poor. With today’s weakened economy, some individuals are working full time and still struggling to put food on the table for their families.
In fact, 38% of food-insecure individuals in our service area earn too much* to qualify for federal or state food assistance. This means that thousands of food-insecure Marylanders rely solely on food banks and pantries as they struggle to meet their basic needs.
With this knowledge, the Maryland Food Bank takes its mission very sincerely. Each year, we map out new ways to increase our food-sourcing, distribution, and funding. We believe that, united, we can end hunger in Maryland, and we are committed to spreading the belief and leading the movement.
After thirty years, we have grown immensely in both our understanding of hunger and our response to it. But there’s one major resource we haven’t fully tapped into yet: the people of Maryland.
The numbers speak for themselves. Hunger is an immense issue that affects us all and it will take all of us, in a full-scale social movement, to end hunger.
As we lead this movement against hunger, we are presenting you with the unique opportunity of being a part of historic social change.
Are you in?
You can join the movement against hunger in a multitude of ways. Whether you are volunteering in our warehouse, donating food, giving funds, or making your voice heard to your politicians, we need you to join this fight. For more information on how you can help, feel free to contact us today.
*The Maryland Food Bank serves 21 counties and Baltimore City—all of Maryland except for Prince George’s and Montgomery, which is serviced by the Capital Area Food Bank.
*Currently, anyone earning more than 130% of the federal poverty line is disqualified from receiving food assistance. This means that a three-person household with a yearly income of more than $25,728 would be unable to request government food aid.