Breathing new life into hunger relief in Western Maryland…
The Maryland Food Bank – Western Branch distributes food to four counties in Western Maryland: Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett.
In 2012, the Maryland Food Bank merged with Food Resources, a longtime Maryland Food Bank partner in Hagerstown, Md. The merger was a part of the Maryland Food Bank’s efforts to better access and serve Marylanders across the state.
Since the merger, this branch of the Maryland Food Bank has quadrupled the output of food into Western Maryland.
Western Branch Hunger in Numbers
More than 53,000 individuals in the Western Branch service area are food-insecure.
Of those struggling with hunger, nearly 24,000 are children.
In FY 2014, the Western Branch distributed more than 4 million meals, quadruple the number of meals distributed in the region prior to the merger.
Since the launch of the branch, food distribution in the region has grown by an average of 11,400 meals daily.
Hungry families in the region miss a total of about 9.5 million meals each year.
The service-area of the Maryland Food Bank’s Western Branch includes some of the biggest cities in Western Maryland: Frederick, Middletown, Thurmont, Hagerstown, Cumberland, and Oakland.
In the last two years, the Western Branch has quickly integrated and expanded its food service programs across Western Maryland. The branch is focusing on expanding its Farm to Food Bank partnerships in the region with the goal of increasing the influx of produce, dairy, game, and fruit into Maryland Food Bank warehouses.
In addition, the branch has organized mobile pantries, school pantries, senior pantries, SNAP outreach, and now TEFAP. The Western Branch partners with schools, pantries, senior homes, soup kitchens, and shelters across the region, providing its service area with more access to food aid than ever before.