Hunger Can, And Does, Happen Here.Annually, the Maryland Food Bank distributes over 40 million meals - but Marylanders miss nearly 111 million. Help us do more. Give Now
Maryland is home to nearly 1.5 million people who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from.
Despite being one of the wealthiest states in the nation, Maryland’s communities are deeply impacted by food insecurity. People from all walks of life find themselves in need of food assistance from time to time, for a variety of reasons.
Hunger and Children
Food insecurity can have lasting effects on children and impact their ability to succeed in school and other activities. Studies have shown children who suffer from food insecurity have also reported they’d had trouble concentrating in school, had less energy for social interactions, experienced anxiety or depression and had more absences from school than other children.
Hunger and Seniors
Marylanders should not have to face food-insecurity in their senior years due to circumstances like inconsistent income, limited mobility, and poor health. Studies show that food-insecure seniors have an increased risk of poor health, struggle to manage health issues, and are likely to have higher health care costs.
Hunger and Working Families
With today’s stagnant wages and the steadily rising cost of living, some individuals are working full time but still struggling to put food on the table. In fact, nearly 40 percent of food-insecure individuals in our service area earn too much to qualify for federal or state relief. This means that thousands of food-insecure Marylanders rely on the food bank and other forms of food assistance as they struggle to meet their basic needs.
17.5% Less Achievement
Kids without access to breakfast score 17.5 percent less on standardized math tests – the difference between an A and a C+ (source)
Maryland and the Meal Gap
- Food insecurity exists in every congressional district in the entire U.S., even right here in Maryland.
- Marylanders miss over nearly 111 million meals each year.
- The overall estimated cost to meet the food needs of all food-insecure Marylanders was nearly $353 million, at an estimated cost of $3.10 per meal in 2018.
- The Maryland Food Bank’s purchasing power help stretch each dollar donated to up to 3 meals.
Mapping the Meal Gap
While more and more individuals continue to visit food pantries across the state, MFB remains dedicated to tapping into potential populations of food-insecure Marylanders struggling to reach out due to psychological barriers. In this blog, we hear firsthand accounts from food recipients who overcame their fears and anxieties around asking for help to fulfill their basic needs.
A dinner conversation between three peers within Maryland’s Intelligence Community snowballed into starting a Virtual Food Drive that ultimately helped the Maryland Food Bank provide 900,000 meals to our neighbors in need.
A record number of Marylanders have been accessing our statewide food assistance safety net since the pandemic emerged, many for the first time. In this blog, two of our long-standing partners discuss the stigma surrounding food assistance and share how they help hungry Marylanders overcome it.
The pandemic is no match for the drive and determination of our donors. Individuals and families of all ages and walks of life have stepped up in a major way, doing what they can to help keep Marylanders fed during this difficult time.