Hunger Action Month 2022: Neighbors Helping Neighbors
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
September is Hunger Action Month, an annual nationwide effort to help our neighbors in need by taking a stand against hunger and its root causes.
It’s been a challenging few years, and everyone had high hopes that once COVID-19 began to fade, things would get better for all of us. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
In fact, our most recent research report — Food Insecurity in Maryland — clearly shows just how much current hardship indicators (job loss, high cost of childcare, inflated retail costs, etc.) are acting as barriers to food security, and continue to keep Maryland’s individuals and families from achieving economic stability and thriving.
Our analysis shows that the need for food assistance increased by 30% from March through May 2022 — and considering that from December 2021 to July 2022, the amount of Marylanders finding it difficult to pay for usual household expenses rose from 7.6% to 35% — we expect this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
But our state has a secret weapon in the fight against hunger: you.
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
For more than two years, the outpouring of care and concern that Marylanders have shown each other has been humbling.
When you support the Maryland Food Bank, you are supporting the right of every Marylander to have arguably the most basic of needs — access to nutritious food on a regular basis.
When you support the Maryland Food Bank, you are standing up for children, hard-working individuals, veterans, older adults, and families, letting everyone know that you firmly believe in our mission of feeding people, strengthening communities, and ending hunger for more Marylanders.
And while the fact that 1 in 3 of us may face hunger on any given day may seem daunting, every action makes a difference, and we can all play a role in lifting our neighbors up.
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”
There are many ways to make a difference in the lives of your neighbors in need, but here are just a few to explore during Hunger Action Month:
Educate yourself about the current state of hunger in Maryland and MFB 3.0, our refreshed strategic plan. Then let your elected officials know that you are concerned about the unprecedented levels of hunger in our state and that you want them to act.
Your voice can play a critical role in making sure that our allies in Annapolis keep MFB’s “Three E’s” top of mind as they consider action that may have the greatest impact on the lives of our food-insecure neighbors:
- Expand access to more locally grown fresh produce for food-insecure communities
- Ensure that Marylanders can rely on a strong social safety net
- Eliminate barriers to food security and economic stability for Maryland families
And in our 2021 Public Perception Survey, you clearly told us that you have a strong interest in having our elected officials do more:
- 82% of people want the state to invest more in programs that address root cause solutions, and 75% of the respondents want more state funding to address the issue of hunger.
- 88% of Democrats, 64% of Republicans, and 66% of unaffiliated voters stating they would like to see more of their state tax dollars committed to addressing food insecurity.
So now is time to act, to make sure our representatives know how important the issue of hunger is to you by emailing them:
Host a Virtual Food Drive
Our easy-to-use Virtual Food Drive platform lets you showcase your particular passion for fighting hunger. But don’t stop there. Make sure to build momentum and funds by sharing it with your friends and family on social media. And speaking of social media…
Helping spread the word about what food insecurity is really like in Maryland is a great way to participate in Hunger Action Month. You can post stories about how you help your neighbors in need or follow us and share our social media posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Link out to MFB stories and videos or get creative and challenge your followers to get involved too!
“I like to encourage people to realize that any action is a good action if it’s proactive and there is positive intent behind it.”
Without financial support from generous Marylanders, we simply would not be able to meet the need for food in regular times, let alone the unprecedented numbers we continue to see today.
You can become part of the movement now with a one-time gift, help us plan long-term by setting up a series of monthly donations, or even join the Hunger Action Council – a group of our most passionate and active supporters!
We’re committed to being here for any Marylander who finds themselves in need of food, and you can help us do that by volunteering. We are undergoing some expansion construction so we can help even more of our neighbors in need, which is currently limiting our volunteer capacity.
Typically, we welcome individuals, groups, and families for a variety of tasks, including sorting and packing food, helping prepare meals in our on-site kitchen, and even gleaning fresh fruits and vegetables on Maryland farms. Check out all the different ways you can help at this time.
“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”
Safely feeding the hundreds of thousands of hungry Marylanders who are struggling right now while simultaneously building pathways out of hunger will continue to take a tremendous amount of resources. It takes money, it takes food, and it takes people.
Pre-COVID, Maryland was one of the most expensive places to live, and now, inflation and rising costs are making things worse. With so many Marylanders continuing to find it difficult to make ends meet, action on behalf of others takes on an even higher level of significance.
Pledge To Help
If you’ve always wanted to be a part of something larger than yourself, this is the time.
Hunger Action Month is here, and you can make a very real difference in the lives of your fellow Marylanders by acting now – sign up and stay up to date with the latest advocacy campaigns and news by taking the pledge to show your neighbors in need that they are not alone.