Food insecurity is growing but Maryland Food Bank has the solution
MARYLAND – Year 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic is fast approaching, which has created a huge impact on getting food on the table.
The Maryland Food Bank says they have changed their pace to keep up with the need for food. A historic report shows 1 in 3 Marylanders are struggling to get their meal. The report by the Maryland Food Bank’s Strategy Group revealed that more than 2 in 5 families, that is 45% said their children were often or sometimes not eating because food is no
t affordable. The food bank says the state of Maryland is one of the most expensive states in the nation in terms of cost of living and with inflation and rising costs, things are getting worse.
“Our biggest issue will be, right now our food is free from the Maryland Food Bank and my concern is what happens around June 30th,” says Mark Thompson.
Mark Thompson is looking for solutions early to fight a possible food shortage. He is the Director of Adopt-A-Block, a community outreach organization in Salisbury. The date, June 30th marks the last day, free food will be provided by the Maryland Food Bank, unless a grant is renewed. As the organization providing the goods, the Food Bank says it is seeing the issue statewide.
“Even though the pandemic season seems to be quieting down, we continue to see significant demand, and we know that the driving force behind that is the rising cost of food,” says Carmen Del Guercio.
To put that demand into perspective Carmen Del Guercio the Director of Maryland Food Bank says the numbers speak for themselves.
“In the 2 years of march 20′ and march 22′, we’ve distributed enough food for 88 million meals, a 66% increase. We can only do that by buying more food than we’ve ever had. So today we’re buying upwards of 30 million pounds of food pre covid we’d buy about 12,” Carmen Del Guercio tells 47ABC.
And Mark Thompson says without these resources Adopt-A-Block’s outreach abilities could slow down.
“What kind of ways can we continue to distribute food to people in the communities, Fruitland, Crisfield and in Salisbury? – It may come down to it that we can only do it once a month,” says Mark Thompson.
While more bellies are going hungry, the Maryland Food Bank has a plan to keep food on the tables of Maryland residents.
“We have begun partnering with other organizations who are providing solutions like transportation, workforce development, and health care, so we can begin to offer solutions to allow folks to get back on their feet,” Carmen Del Guercio explains.
That is why they are working on the issue now to ensure no family is left hungry. The food bank will be putting a mobile market into effect. That is a vehicle that will allow small remote areas access to fresh produce and other foods. To help Adopt-A-Block give back to the community, visit their site for more information.