Finding and distributing food is the core operation of the Maryland Food Bank. The partnerships we’ve built with a wide variety of food donors allow us to provide low-cost, nutritious food to our network partners; and the programs we’ve developed help us channel fresh foods directly to the communities that need it most.
Where does the Maryland Food Bank get its food?
Since its inception in 1979, the Maryland Food Bank has built relationships with the state government, food retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors and corporations. The food bank relies on these relationships for a large percentage of the food we receive and distribute.
In addition to these, some of our most pivotal food sources include:
Partnerships with farms – Through our Farm to Food Bank Program, we work with farms across the state to source fresh, local produce.
Salvage – When retail food is no longer salable but still meets FDA regulations, it can be donated to food banks as salvage. We receive millions of pounds of salvaged food each year.
Purchased food – Using money from grants, donations, and virtual food drives, the Maryland Food Bank purchases staple foods to supplement salvage and canned foods to make sure clients are receiving balanced nutrition.
How does the Maryland Food Bank distribute its food?
Network Partners – Like many other food banks, the Maryland Food Bank relies on its member organizations — we call them network partners — to distribute food directly to those in need. With 1,250 distribution partners — ranging from pantries and shelters to senior centers and schools — MFB is able to get food into the hands of hungry Marylanders statewide. All MFB network partners must meet certain eligibility requirements and uphold high standards of charitable service.
Specialized Programs – MFB distributes the majority of its food to network partners, not individuals. However, the food bank is constantly re-evaluating its reach and seeking to fill service gaps with new programs — from our MFB Kids™ initiatives, which get kids access to food before, during, and after school, to our Pantry On The Go Program, which delivers thousands of pounds of food directly to areas that lack access to other sources of hunger relief.