Hunger Affects All MarylandersHunger weakens our state’s ability to thrive. But imagine a Maryland where children don’t struggle to learn, working families no longer debate how to manage bills, older adults aren’t hampered by limited mobility, and people in Communities of Color can overcome institutional barriers to food security. Give Now
Maryland is still one of the wealthiest states in the nation, home to a diverse population of more than 6 million people, yet about one third of us may face hunger this year. But when we lift up our most vulnerable populations, the possibilities and opportunities for Maryland are limitless.
If we can help stem the tide of poor and inconsistent eating habits through increased access to healthy foods and nutrition education, more Marylanders maybe be able to avoid the crippling effects of diet-related health issues and can reach their academic and social potential.
Hunger & Communities of Color
No Marylander should have to face hunger due to the color of their skin. People living in Communities of Color disproportionally face barriers that keep them trapped in generational cycles of poverty and hunger. Studies show these communities have a higher prevalence of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Hunger & 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 & Older Adults
Marylanders should not have to face food-insecurity in their later years due to circumstances like inconsistent income, limited mobility, and poor health. Studies show that food-insecure older adults have an increased risk of poor health, struggle to manage health issues, and are likely to have higher health care costs.
Hunger & 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.
Hunger in Maryland
- Hunger exists all across Maryland.
- Based on MFB’s Maryland Hunger Map analysis, approx. 2 million Marylanders may face hunger in 2021.
- Roughly 39% of Maryland households are likely to be food insecure.
- Community partners offered neighbors nearly 1,300 distribution points (in FY21).
The Maryland Hunger Map
Research and Reports
Find our latest original reporting and data-driven tools aimed at helping stakeholders and the public better understand and address the complexity of food insecurity in Maryland.
A key part of MFB 3.0, our refreshed strategic plan, emphasizes expanding workforce development programs and partnerships that are crucial to not only Maryland’s continued recovery, but its long-term ability to thrive. Some of our Network Partners — including three that you’ll read about here — are already offering these wraparound services. Our Regional Program Directors are working every day to help more of our statewide partners form these kinds of beneficial relationships.
“It takes me back to when I was a child in the inner city where food was a lot scarcer. When your neighbor up the street couldn’t get out or had health issues, so you took what you had and shared with them. To me the food bank is that neighborhood, that village I grew up in. It lets me know that I’m not alone — lets me know that people still care for people.”
To better serve our neighbors in need as rates of food insecurity remain high, we’ve introduced innovative pilot programs to address the root causes of hunger and identify and assist more food-insecure families across Maryland.
More than two in five Maryland families — 45% of our neighbors — said their children were often or sometimes not eating enough because food was not affordable, with families in the lowest income bracket experiencing the highest adversity.