Putting Your Money to Work: Fighting Child Hunger
As the holidays approach, a lot of us look for ways to give—and not just to our friends and families. For many, the easiest way to give back within our communities is by donating to a good cause, and the Maryland Food Bank has been the grateful recipient of countless holiday donations. As a small gesture of our thanks, we’d like to highlight some of the different ways we intend to use your gifts to fight hunger in 2015.
It’s heartbreaking to think that on Christmas Eve, there are children who don’t know if they’ll get dinner before bed, let alone a visit from Santa. Sadly, this scenario applies to nearly 173,000 kids in the state who are struggling with food insecurity—about 1 in every 5 children.
Child hunger is a grave problem in Maryland—one that impacts the future of our children and the future of our state. Food insecurity can have long-lasting effects on children physically, mentally, and emotionally, closing the doors to academic and professional success.
On top of that, poor nutrition can lead to lasting health problems in children, from obesity and diabetes to immune deficiencies and chronic fatigue. That’s why the Maryland Food Bank developed an initiative that specifically reaches out to food-insecure children, before, during, and after school to ensure that Maryland’s future leaders are getting the nutrition they need to succeed.
In partnership with Giant Food, the MFB Kids™ initiative includes our School Pantry Program as well as our Supper Club and Summer Club Programs, each of which seek to provide children with food in safe, stigma-free environments.
For our Supper and Summer Clubs, professional chefs in our Charles T. Bauer Community Kitchen produce nutritious homemade meals, which are served hot to food-insecure students after school and during the summer. Meanwhile, our School Pantry Program teams up with more than 200 schools statewide to ensure that hungry children have access to nonperishable foods that they can bring home for themselves and their families.
How Your Support Helps
Our MFB Kids™ initiative has proven to be an effective way of reaching food-insecure kids across the state, but the need doesn’t end once the holidays are over. With our community kitchen churning out thousands of kids meals every day, and our network of school pantries consistently distributing food to students, the Maryland Food Bank could simply not do it alone.
Support from public funding, corporate partners, and individual donors has enabled the food bank to operate these critical programs, funding everything from the food that comes out of our kitchen to the vans that transport these meals, and the pantries that have been set up in hundreds of schools.
As we approach the end of the year—and throughout 2015—we are truly grateful for your support. Here’s to a happy, healthy holiday!
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