Thank you for your interest in partnering with the Maryland Food Bank. On this page you will find helpful information regarding our programs. We hope that once you have read through all our different food distribution program types, you will have a better understanding of what each of our programs requires and entails. You will also find helpful information on next steps.
Our Community Resources & Initiatives
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Central Maryland locations:
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Food Distribution Partnership Overview
The Maryland Food Bank has a variety of different food distribution programs. These programs have been created over time to suit the needs of our neighbors and of our partners. While reading through each program type try to envision if this program would be the best fit for your organization. Once you are familiar with our program types, use the New Partner Interest Form to express interest in food distribution partnership with us.
At this time, we have limited capacity for onboarding new partners, so we are encouraging those interested in partnership with us to engage with our current network through our Find Food resource.
Those who will move forward with partnership will be required to use Link2Feed (L2F) onsite. L2F is an online database that collects information about neighbors and records services provided.
This system will be used at Maryland Food Bank with all of our partners; it helps us learn more about who we are serving and what they need. Some benefits of this program include agencies being able to track their programs and neighbors receiving better, more targeted service. The more efficient and knowledgeable we and our partner agencies are, the more resources we can allocate to serving neighbors!
Step 1: Choose Your Program(s)
Determine which program type(s) from the following list are most suitable to the needs of your community and the capabilities of your agency.
Step 2: Complete the New Partner Interest Form
The New Partner Interest Form collects important information about your organization so we can understand your organization’s alignment with our goals, and potential impact. Knowing the services you currently offer, your location, and the program(s) you’re interested in will ensure your information gets to the right person.
Network Partners are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations or churches who qualify to receive donated food. They include food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, and healthcare facilities. Most Network Partners store food overnight and a site inspection is required. Network Partners can order food for pick-up or delivery through Agency Express, our easy-to-use, online menu. A minimum of 2,000 pounds is required to have an order delivered. Most Network Partners have access to donated product, and optional purchased products. Order frequency and delivery schedules vary by branch (Baltimore, Eastern, or Western). Network Partners typically pay food costs (shared maintenance fees for donated product and costs for purchased product) and have annual membership dues of $50 due each July. Network Partners also have access to some funding and grant opportunities that are not available to other types of partners.
Pantry On the Go (POTG)
POTG partners are typically tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations or churches who qualify to receive donated food. POTG partners do not store food overnight — they operate a same-day distribution model, receiving large deliveries of food that are unloaded and distributed directly to food-insecure communities during “pop-up” events. These events can serve between 200 and 1,000 families in a single day. POTG partners do not place orders on the online menu, instead the products delivered are chosen by the Maryland Food Bank (MFB) based on availability. Product is primarily fresh produce ready for immediate distribution. Site inspections are required to ensure the program is not operating at a personal residence, and that food is being distributed safely to neighbors in need. POTG partners may be able to host events as often as once per month, depending on MFB resources and availability. POTG partners must have a plan to distribute any excess food remaining after the event ends. POTG partners must have the staff and/or volunteer capacity to unload and distribute large quantities of food to meet community needs. We recommend a minimum of seven staff and/or volunteers to properly execute a POTG event.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
TEFAP is a federally funded program that helps supplement the food supplies of qualifying food-insecure people by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. TEFAP partners must be tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations or churches who qualify to receive donated food. TEFAP partners must have the capacity to safely store food, and a site inspection is required. Partners must have the staff and/or volunteer capacity to meet community needs and TEFAP program requirements for neighbor eligibility, monthly reporting, and inventory. TEFAP food is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). MFB provides monthly allocations of USDA food to TEFAP partners at no cost. The food can be picked up from MFB or delivered when orders meet minimum delivery requirements.
Kids Meal Programs
Summer Club Program (SFSP)
The Summer Club Program provides free, nutritious meals to food-insecure students participating in summer programs that feature activities such as tutoring, arts and crafts, and sports, providing food assistance throughout the summer when schools are closed and kids lose access to the free and reduced-priced meals program (FARM) and/or the School Pantry Program. All meals are made fresh daily by professional chefs from MFB’s Charles T. Bauer Community Kitchen, using local produce and other nutritious ingredients. Meals in the Summer Club Program are reimbursed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), as the administrator of the program for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Maryland.
Supper Club Program (CACFP)
Supper Club sites provide free, nutritious meals to food-insecure students participating in after-school programs that feature activities such as tutoring, arts and crafts, and sports. All meals are made fresh daily by professional chefs from MFB’s Bauer Community Kitchen, using local produce and other nutritious ingredients. Meals in the Supper Club Program are reimbursed by MSDE, as the administrator of the program for the USDA in Maryland.
To host a Summer or Supper Club, an agency must have a physical location that meets all requirements of MSDE, and the meals must be served during a supervised, set time period according to MSDE rules.
School Pantry Program
MFB’s School Pantry Program connects school children, their families, and neighbors with staple groceries throughout the school year.
School Pantry Program sites can order food for delivery through Agency Express, our easy-to-use, online menu. Order frequency and delivery schedules vary by branch (Baltimore, Eastern, or Western). Sites that store food overnight must have the capacity to safely store food.
Our School Pantry sites are typically schools with high eligibility for free and reduced meal programs. School Pantry sites must be approved, must have the staff and/or volunteer capacity to manage the program, and must meet school and/or community needs. We look for School Pantry sites in areas of unmet need to align with our strategic goals.
Beginning in Fall 2024, Higher Education institutions will operate under a new cohort model.
DSS Partners (Baltimore City Only)
DSS Pantry sites are select pantries in Baltimore City that are able to redeem vouchers from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services (DSS). Each voucher enables the individual holder to receive a three-day supply of emergency food and, if needed, baby formula and diapers twice per month.
The three-day supply of emergency food is provided pre-packed by the Maryland Food Bank (MFB). DSS Pantry sites do not select the items included. Pantry sites are permitted to provide both the emergency food boxes and the vouchers to eligible individuals.
DSS Pantry sites must be located in Baltimore City and in MFB priority areas. There are also storage and reporting requirements, as mandated by DSS.
Higher Ed Partners are institutions of higher education that provide food assistance to their students, faculty and staff. Most Higher Ed Partners store food overnight and a site inspection is required. Higher Ed Partners can order food for pick-up or delivery through Agency Express, our easy-to-use, online menu. Order frequency and delivery schedules vary by branch (Baltimore, Eastern, or Western). Most Higher Ed Partners have access to donated product, and optional purchased products. Higher Ed Partners share costs of invoices 50/50 with the Maryland Food Bank (food costs include shared maintenance fees for donated product and costs for purchased product). Higher Ed Partners also have access to some funding and grants as well as cohort opportunities that are not available to other types of partners.
Still Have Questions?
Want to get in touch with our Programs department? We’d love to hear from you.