It’s Hunger Action Month and We Need You!
September marks Hunger Action Month, a nationwide movement to take a stand against hunger and help our neighbors in need.
Perhaps more than at any other time in our history, we need you. When COVID-19 struck our state this spring, it set off a chain reaction, driving hundreds of thousands of Marylanders to seek out food assistance, many for the first time in their lives. These individuals lost jobs due to economic stressors from the pandemic or were forced to leave jobs because of underlying health conditions or illness from the virus itself and were unable to leave their homes to work.
Reaching out for help is not an easy thing to do, but lending a helping hand is.
Even before COVID-19, our Maryland Hunger Map estimated that roughly 1.5 million Marylanders experienced food insecurity, in part because so many households include workers who were employed yet didn’t earn enough to support their families given the state’s high cost of living. With Feeding America now estimating that close to 1 million additional Marylanders may find themselves food insecure as a result of COVID’s long-term economic impact, we’ll need even more people to support our work this Hunger Action Month.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day, someone might do the same for you.”
Here are just a few of the ways you can act on behalf of your neighbors in need:
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’re currently seeing.
You can become part of the movement now with a one-time gift, or consider setting up a series of monthly donations to help us plan long-term hunger relief efforts.
We’re committed to being here for those whose lives have been disrupted and you can help meet the increased need by volunteering. We welcome individuals, groups, and families for a variety of tasks, including sorting and packing food, helping prepare food in our Charles T. Bauer Community Kitchen, and even gleaning fresh fruits and vegetables on Maryland farms! Check out all the different ways you can help.
Host a Virtual Food Drive
Our easy-to-use online platform will allow you to customize a Virtual Food Drive to show everyone what your particular passion for fighting hunger is, and then 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 hunger is really like in Maryland is a great way to participate in Hunger Action Month. You can post stories about how you fight hunger, follow us, 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!
Educate yourself about the current state of hunger in Maryland and our COVID-19 response. 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.
There are currently three campaigns that directly affect the lives of food-insecure Marylanders:
Increase SNAP Funding: SNAP continues to be a critical tool in the fight against hunger. That’s why Feeding America and hunger organizations across the country are urging lawmakers to increase finding for this highly successful program by 15%.
Increase USDA commodity purchases: If the USDA doesn’t make additional food purchases this fall, food banks could see a steep drop in commodity foods in December – one of the most difficult times of the year for food-insecure families.
Help military families facing food insecurity: Many active duty service members struggle to provide food for their families, in part because their monthly housing allowance makes them ineligible for SNAP. But a Military Families Basic Needs Allowance to support service members whose incomes are below 130 percent of the federal poverty level is an option that could help.
Let your elected officials know how important the issue of hunger is to you by emailing them now:
Safely feeding the hundreds of thousands of hungry Marylanders who are struggling right now will take a tremendous amount of resources. It takes money, it takes food, and it takes people.
2020 is unlike any other year in modern history. Advocacy on behalf of others is increasing exponentially right before our very eyes. 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.
We Need Your Help
Programs, campaigns, and educational outreach at the Maryland Food Bank has always relied on the philanthropic support of charitable individuals like you.
Much like our food distribution efforts, outreach activities at the Maryland Food Bank rely on generous donations of money and time.
We hope you’ll consider a contribution.