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

The Maryland Food Bank’s COVID-19 Response

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.

Donate Today

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.

Mobile Meals

“My husband right now, he’s not working. Before the virus, he was an art teacher. Hopefully, he’ll find something soon, but this food really helps.” – Ida Smith, food recipient

Summer Club in Cumberland

“When the Stanton Community Center put out that they would be feeding the community, it was a weight off my shoulders… if it wasn’t for the food bank, I’d be in trouble.” – Robert Eads, food recipient

Henderson-Hopkins Food Distribution

“I’m in this situation because I used to clean houses before the Coronavirus. Now I have a lot of stress and uncertainty, but no job and no money… I usually like to give support to other people, but now it’s me that needs help.” – Maria Montenegro, food recipient

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 more than 1,200 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

35M

Meals

was distributed between March and October, the equivalent of 42M pounds of food

96%

Increase

over last year’s distribution rate between March and October

$17.5M

was spent on food between March and October, compared to $3.7M during that timeframe last year – a 371% increase

222,904

Back Up Boxes

were distributed from March through October

488,084

Grab & Go Meals

were delivered to kids from March through October

2,419

Pantry on the Go

events were hosted from March through October

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

17M+

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

18M

Children

of the estimated 54.3M people will be food insecure

980,000

Marylanders

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

38%

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.

“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.”

CARMEN DEL GUERCIO

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.”

CARMEN DEL GUERCIO

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.

Donate

Help us meet the increasing need for food throughout this crisis

Volunteer

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

Have a Question?

Read Our FAQs

Latest News

Feeding Maryland During COVID-19

Feeding Maryland During COVID-19

Learn more about we’ve adapted our programs to feed Maryland safely throughout the pandemic and hear from hungry Marylanders as they experience food assistance for the first time in their lives.

read more
Breaking Down Systemic Barriers with Food

Breaking Down Systemic Barriers with Food

Many of the people we serve are members of communities of color. They have historically been and continue to be disproportionally affected by racial injustice and inequality, which create additional barriers to food security.

read more
Pack to Give Back 2020: Hope for the Holidays (VIDEO)

Pack to Give Back 2020: Hope for the Holidays (VIDEO)

While COVID-19 may have forced us to change how we carried out Pack to Give Back this year, our passionate volunteers made sure that the 2020 version of our annual event was no less impactful on the lives of hungry Marylanders. Watch the video to see how together, we packed more than 25,000 holiday meals for our neighbors in need.

read more

Start Your Own Virtual Food Drive

Virtual Food Drives (VFD) are a safe, easy, and effective way to support the Maryland Food Bank during this crisis. You can customize your VFD to honor a loved one, bring your community together, or recognize a special event. It only takes a few clicks! Start My VFD
Find FoodDonate