Neighbor Impact Grant | Maryland Food Bank

Neighbor Impact Grant

The Maryland Food Bank’s Neighbor Impact Grant supports promising practices and innovative approaches that have the potential to bring about lasting change.

This funding initiative supports Pillar Two of MFB’s Strategic Plan 3.0, Creating Pathways Out of Hunger, “addressing deeply rooted causes of hunger while opening up pathways out of food insecurity and toward greater local resiliency.” With a deep understanding and appreciation for the complexity and diversity of this work, MFB recognizes that addressing the root causes of food insecurity can take many forms.

For neighbors and families, addressing those root causes can mean:

  • Integrating food distribution strategies with wraparound approaches, or vice versa;
  • Developing new strategies that reach priority populations and those reluctant to seek assistance; or
  • Supporting ideas, processes and approaches that leverage partnerships to achieve better results

At the systems level, addressing root causes can mean:

  • Breaking down barriers to food access;
  • Engaging in efforts that weaken/eliminate the impact of systemic racism on marginalized communities;
  • Highlighting disparities like access to housing, education, jobs, healthcare, and safe environments that make the road to self-sufficiency difficult;
  • Advocating for legislative and policy changes that support equitable access to safety net programs for MFB’s neighbors provided by community partners.

In Fall 2023, the organizations below received inaugural Neighbor Impact Grants to fund the following projects aimed at delivering innovative responses that can improve outcomes for Marylanders in need:

  • Black Church Food Security Network: The Black Church Food Security Network will lead asset-based community development projects to teach Black churches how to build, tend, and harvest urban farms on church grounds to share food with those in need in their community, elevating churches that have space for farming to true providers of community food sovereignty and resilience.
  • Black Yield Institute, Inc.: To minimize transportation costs and dependency on supply chains while redressing systemic and inequitable access to land and food resources for communities of color, the Black Yield Institute, Inc. will conduct urban farming in West Baltimore with a community-produced, community-sustained, and community-oriented urban farm that will provide food for hungry neighbors grown in the communities they serve.
  • City of Refuge Baltimore: Located in a food desert with poor public transit, City of Refuge Baltimore will partner with NAPA Auto Parts to launch an automotive technician workforce development program that provides heavily subsidized car repairs for low-income residents in the neighborhood. Students will be able to practice their skills, help neighbors retain transportation, gain an automotive technician certification, and receive assistance finding jobs in a high-demand industry.
  • Johns Hopkins Children’s Center: The Hopkins Community Connection program (HCC) will use community health workers to provide food, transportation, and case management support to families who expressed food insecurity via phone outreach and home visits, leaving families who come in contact with Baltimore’s central hospital in a better position, enrolled in appropriate benefits, and supported by wraparound services.
  • The United Way of Central Maryland, Inc.: The United for Child Care program will conduct advocacy, education, and public awareness campaigns to address the childcare shortage in Maryland and the poor pay and working conditions of childcare workers leading to the shortage.
  • Westminster Rescue Mission: The Westminster Rescue Mission aims to build a collective impact network of partners to transform the food security and human services landscape in Carroll County, better organizing local services and focusing their collective influence.


Maryland Food Bank is expected to open the Neighbor Impact Grant Opportunity again in Summer 2025.

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