Fighting Childhood Hunger Where It Hits HardestThe School Pantry program gives more than food to Maryland’s food-insecure children: it gives them a chance to succeed. Help Us
What is the School Pantry Program?
Because children need a reliable source of healthy and fresh food to succeed, we developed the School Pantry Program. The program, which places food pantries in neighborhood schools, is a core component of MFB Kids™, a youth outreach initiative sponsored by Giant that seeks to provide children with the nutrition needed to grow healthy and strong.
By partnering with more than 155 local schools with high participation rates in free and reduced meals programs, the stigma of receiving food assistance in an unfamiliar setting is reduced, while the opportunity for community building is increased.
Depending on the school, a pantry may be open on specific days and times, usually after school hours, and may in some cases supply weekend survival kits to children identified as especially at risk. Schools may also host mobile pantries to distribute food to hundreds of families.
How Do School Pantries Contribute to Student Success?
Food insecurity causes more than hunger pangs for children in Maryland. Did you know:
- Studies link food insecurity in children to lower test scores and academic failure
- Hungry children have trouble concentrating and struggle with behavioral issues in the classroom, which can divert teacher focus
- Without sufficient nutrition, kids face a higher risk for developmental impairments
- Individuals that have struggled with food insecurity as a child suffer long-term effects, such as poor health and lack of job readiness, and may perpetuate the cycle of hunger to future generations
- Studies have shown that the social stigma associated with receiving food assistance in view of other children leads to additional stress
School Pantries do much more than simply provide food. They remove barriers to academic and social success for students, encourage parents to take a more active role in their child’s education and development, and help to foster stronger bonds between students, parents, teachers, administrators and the local community.
Start or Join A School Pantry
Contact a Maryland Food Bank program coordinator today to find a School Pantry located near you, or to explore potential partnership options.
Learn More About School Pantries
Partnership with the Maryland Food Bank
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. See if partnering with us could be a good fit for your organization.