The Maryland Food Bank's COVID-19 Response | Maryland Food Bank

The Maryland Food Bank’s COVID-19 Response

With the rollout of promising COVID-19 vaccines currently underway, 2021 may seem like a fresh start. But the global pandemic still rages on, and so do the hunger issues it amplified in 2020.

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on Marylanders, driving food insecurity numbers to unprecedented levels. People have looked to the Maryland Food Bank to take action, and since March, we have proved that the food assistance safety net we’ve built over the last 40 years can withstand this crisis, but not without your support.

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Maryland Food Bank Impact

This pandemic is a crisis unlike any other. The good news is that the Maryland Food Bank is built for this; our employees, volunteers, and community of Network Partners are on the front lines every day, ensuring our neighbors have food during this challenging time. To learn more about our work, download our latest newsletter.

Our Response Since March

The Maryland Food Bank supports roughly 350 Network Partners statewide that collectively provide nearly 1,450 distribution points with much-needed food for their local communities. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve also added temporary partnerships to help fill the gaps where more assistance is needed.

Enough Food to Provide



was distributed between March and January, the equivalent of 56M pounds of food



over last year’s distribution rate between March and January


was spent on food between March and January, compared to $5.2M during that timeframe last year – a 356% increase

Pounds of Food Distributed

chart showing pounds of food distributed

Dollars Spent

chart showing dollars spent


Back Up Boxes

were distributed from March through January


Grab & Go Meals

were delivered to kids from March through January


Pantry on the Go

events were hosted from March through January

Feeding America Estimates

According to Feeding America estimates, which looked at the impact that increases in unemployment and poverty due to COVID-19 will have on food insecurity…

An Additional


people nationwide will be food insecure in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, for a total of 54.3M people



of the estimated 54.3M people will be food insecure



may find themselves food insecure as a result of this crisis, 339,000 of which are children.*


Of People

served by the Feeding America Network since March are new to receiving charitable food support

* Maryland Food Bank believes these numbers will actually be higher due to the fact that Feeding America only accounts for those who are living below the Federal Poverty Line, and does not recognize Marylanders living just above that line yet still struggle to afford the very basic necessities of life, as reflected in our Maryland Hunger Map.

What’s Next

To keep up with growing demands for food from an ever-increasing number of Marylanders seeking assistance, MFB has developed a blueprint for the amount of food and financial resources needed to maintain the high volume of activity we’ve seen since COVID-19 first emerged in mid-March.

In order to keep pace with the level of work we’ve done, we have set a goal to raise $28 million over the next 12 months (October 2020-October 2021).

This Phase 2 of the organization’s COVID-19 Food Access Response Plan focuses on near-term efforts that will be needed to support individuals and families who have been impacted by COVID-19 in the food bank’s 22-jurisdiction service area.

Anticipating Greater Need: Maryland Food Bank’s Phase 2 Response

MFB’s President & CEO Carmen Del Guercio and EVP of Programs & External Affairs Meg Kimmel talk about the organization’s ongoing response to the pandemic as part of Phase 2.

Through the end of 2020 and into 2021, the food bank’s Phase 2 response will focus on assisting Marylanders by:

  • Expanding food access to those struggling most under COVID-19, including the newly unemployed, communities of color, and homebound, self-quarantined, or quarantined populations.
  • Improving the nutritional quality of food distributed by exploring healthier Back Up Boxes (BUB’s) and/or providing produce to supplement shelf-stable items in BUB’s.
  • Increasing nutrition education by including educational inserts and recipes into BUB’s and other low-to-no touch forms of food distribution.
  • Using data to determine areas across the state that are most impacted by COVID to deploy expanded food distribution tactics.

Although the implications of this pandemic aren’t fully realized and the road ahead is unpredictable, what we do know is that we’re all in this together. With your help, we hope to continue to meet the increased need for food assistance statewide while containing the severity of the long-term health and economic impacts of this crisis.

Pack to Give Back 2020

“With the box of food and turkey, I was able to have Thanksgiving for me, my two adult sons who have lost their jobs due to COVID and my three beautiful grandchildren. This was a wonderful blessing!” – Angie, food recipient

Kingdom Celebration Center Food Distribution with Delegate Henson

“COVID slowed my work down and my wife is disabled, so If it weren’t for the food bank, my family and I would be in deep trouble. Trying to make ends meet and feed my kids would be a lot harder.” – Mitchell M., food recipient

Partnering with the Salvation Army in Hagerstown

“I can’t afford bills and was a little worried about how we were going to do the holidays this year. The food really gives me the flexibility to do different things with the money we do have.” – Danielle S., food recipient

“As we look ahead and do our best to prepare for the future, the one thing we know for certain is that this pandemic will disrupt the economy and suppress opportunity for months, if not years, to come.”


President & CEO, Maryland Food Bank

“As we look ahead and do our best to prepare for the future, the one thing we know for certain is that this pandemic will disrupt the economy and suppress opportunity for months, if not years, to come.”


President & CEO, Maryland Food Bank

What You Can Do

Our primary concern is making sure we have enough nutritious food to meet the growing need – both today, and for the foreseeable future. You can help ensure the safety net is there for those who may be facing food insecurity for the first time.

Just like COVID-19 has changed the world, we’ve changed the way we’re feeding Maryland. Our network partners, corporate supporters, and staff have really stepped up to ensure all Marylanders have enough to eat during this unprecedented crisis.


Help us meet the increasing need for food throughout this crisis


We need 13- to 60-year-olds to help sort food and perform various tasks

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