Approach | Maryland Food Bank

Approach

We are improving the lives of all Marylanders by making sure everyone has access to nutritious food while providing solutions that address hunger in the first place.

We’re using new tools, new resources, and a wealth of data to make things better for Maryland’s children, individuals living in Communities of Color, older adults, and working families.

What does it take to feed our neighbors in need?

3 Branches

Baltimore (central Maryland), Salisbury (Eastern Shore), and Hagerstown (western Maryland)

1,450+ Distribution Points

food distribution points, including 350+ community-based Network Partner sites

180+ Staff

A hardworking and dedicated team

46,000+ Volunteer Hours

from generous supporters

How do we get food to hungry Marylanders?

Distributing food from three locations across 21 counties and Baltimore city requires an inclusive approach with different solutions for different situations.

Network Partners

Approximately 350 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based organizations all across the state help provide relief to members of their communities who struggle to put food on their tables.

Distribution Programs

School Pantries, Pantry on the Go, Summer Clubs, and Supper Clubs offer our neighbors in need access to nutritious food in a variety of settings. We also help connect people with federal and state food assistance programs, such as TEFAP, SNAP Outreach, DSS, and My Groceries to Go!

Maryland Food Bank Programs

Tailored programs ensure food-insecure Marylanders get the assistance they need.

Where does the food bank get food?

Until recently, our inventory was roughly equal percentages of donated, donated facilitated, and purchased, with the remainder coming from the USDA.

donated food on conveyor belt
 

Donated

Food comes from grocery and big box stores, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and our Farm to Food Bank Program.

purchased greens in warehouse
 

Purchased

Food that MFB buys through relationships with manufacturers and distributors.

facilitated donated food
 

Facilitated Donated

Food that is recovered from local retailers by our Network Partners.

USDA federally sourced canned foods
 

USDA

Federally sourced food from large-scale manufacturers.

During the pandemic, our model shifted, and we had to purchase a much higher percentage of the food we distribute. We found that the increased flexibility and control over the types of food we purchase results in a more dignified experience, allowing people visiting our partners to make healthier choices.

How do we know how much food to send into communities?

Recognizing that hunger looks different in western Maryland than it does in Baltimore or on the Eastern Shore, we take a regional approach to our food distribution efforts, dividing Maryland into five areas — Western, Northern, Central, Southern, and Eastern.

With data gleaned from our Maryland Hunger Map, we work with our local partners in each region to help determine which of our existing programs or distribution methods will work best in their community. Additionally, we connect partners with nearby social service organizations that can help their neighbors in need address the root causes that are driving them to hunger in the first place.

And we’re continuing to innovate, and offer new approaches, such as Mobile Markets and versioned Back Up Boxes.

The Maryland Hunger Map

How Can You Help?

Our ability to expand access to nutritious food while providing solutions for those in need relies on continued partnerships and support from Marylanders like you.

Help support our efforts.

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Latest Food Distribution News

Transitioning Kids Back to School

Transitioning Kids Back to School

As children across the state return to some form of schooling this school year, we remain committed to providing young Marylanders with access to the food and nutrition they need to succeed. While schools face many uncertainties this year, one thing is for certain – MFB’s steadfast belief that no child should go hungry will eclipse any potential challenges to feeding kids in need.

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Our Farm to Food Bank Program’s Superhero: Amy Cawley

Our Farm to Food Bank Program’s Superhero: Amy Cawley

Since 2011, Amy Cawley has overseen the Farm to Food Bank Program, which combines field gleanings, donations, and contract growing to form the cornerstone of the food bank’s nutrition strategy. She has helped the program grow from its humble roots with just two partners — First Fruits Farms in northern Baltimore County and Arnold Farms in northeastern Queen Anne’s County — into a powerhouse produce program with more than 60 farms that infuse our statewide food distribution efforts with hundreds of thousands of pounds of nutritious fruits and vegetables annually.

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Meet Joe Rodriguez, FoodWorks Success Story

Meet Joe Rodriguez, FoodWorks Success Story

Joe Rodriguez is one of hundreds of Marylanders who have transformed their lives through FoodWorks, MFB’s 12-week intensive culinary training program that helps students become professional chefs and find careers in Maryland’s hospitality industry.

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