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.

Nutrition Matters

What does it take to feed our neighbors in need?

3 Branches

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

Nearly 1,300 Distribution Points

food distribution points, including approximately 330 community-based Network Partner sites

175+ Staff

A hardworking and dedicated team

48,000+ 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 330 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, and DSS.

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

Holistic Help for Hunger’s Root Causes

Holistic Help for Hunger’s Root Causes

A key part of MFB 3.0, our refreshed strategic plan, emphasizes expanding workforce development programs and partnerships that are crucial to not only Maryland’s continued recovery, but its long-term ability to thrive. Some of our Network Partners — including three that you’ll read about here — are already offering these wraparound services. Our Regional Program Directors are working every day to help more of our statewide partners form these kinds of beneficial relationships.

read more
Feeding Mind, Body, and Spirit: Meet Nadine B. of East Baltimore

Feeding Mind, Body, and Spirit: Meet Nadine B. of East Baltimore

“It takes me back to when I was a child in the inner city where food was a lot scarcer. When your neighbor up the street couldn’t get out or had health issues, so you took what you had and shared with them. To me the food bank is that neighborhood, that village I grew up in. It lets me know that I’m not alone — lets me know that people still care for people.”

read more
Pilot Program: Pathways to Economic Security

Pilot Program: Pathways to Economic Security

To better serve our neighbors in need as rates of food insecurity remain high, we’ve introduced innovative pilot programs to address the root causes of hunger and identify and assist more food-insecure families across Maryland.

read more

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