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

Meet the MFB Family: Darlene Johnson

Meet the MFB Family: Darlene Johnson

Darlene Johnson is much more than MFB’s customer service representative — she’s the ever-smiling, always cheerful face of the food bank to representatives of its many community partners who visit the central warehouse’s Marketplace to pick up food for their pantries.

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New MFB Research Paints More Complete Picture of Food Insecurity

New MFB Research Paints More Complete Picture of Food Insecurity

This report presents a more complete picture of what it means to be food insecure in Maryland. It reviews and interprets available data sets from various resources to better understand how wages, housing, and other indicators of hardship (aka “root causes”) interconnect and ultimately manifest in the form of food insecurity.

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On-Campus Pantries Help Hungry College Students

On-Campus Pantries Help Hungry College Students

As COVID-19 opened the eyes of many to the prevalence of food insecurity among our neighbors, it also brought increased understanding of the growing need for on-campus pantries at colleges across Maryland to help meet the growing need for food assistance.

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Growing Our Share

Growing Our Share

Spurred by lessons learned during the pandemic, we’re committed to building on our already successful Farm to Food Bank Program by supporting efforts that make agricultural systems more resilient in times of uncertainty, get farmed food to those most in need more efficiently by strengthening supply chains, and helping state school districts purchase Maryland produce at a reduced price.

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