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Maryland Food Bank Aims to Decrease Food Insecurity

Despite living in one of the wealthiest states in the country, more than 650,000 Marylanders struggle with hunger. (Pixabay)
Despite living in one of the wealthiest states in the country, more than 650,000 Marylanders struggle with hunger. (Pixabay)
September 19, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – People around the country are stepping up to to help fight hunger, including for the nearly 665,000 struggling with food insecurity in Maryland.

September is Hunger Action Month. Throughout the month, Marylanders will have the opportunity to donate nonperishable items at State Police barracks and some Department of Transportation offices to help their neighbors in need.

With the cost of living well above the national average, said Joanna Warner, director of communications for the Maryland Food Bank, many families are struggling.

"With one in nine Marylanders currently food insecure, it's a problem that spans the entire state," she said. "It's not just an urban problem, it's not just a rural problem. We're trying to get food out as much as we can, but we need the support of the community to do that."

In addition to donating food and volunteering locally, Warner said, money can go a long way at food banks, where their bulk-purchasing power can essentially turn $1 into three meals.

Food insecurity is even higher in households with children. According to Maryland Hunger Solutions, 17 percent of young families in the state are food insecure, meaning they aren't always sure where their next meal is coming from.

Warner said hunger can have long-term implications, so it's important to realize that not everyone is able to afford the basic necessities.

"It's a struggle that a lot of people in Maryland are enduring right now - surprisingly, considering that Maryland is one of the wealthiest states in the nation," she said. "But yeah, there are a lot of people, neighbors in need, and we appreciate support of any kind."

She said federal nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have been helpful, but the generosity of Marylanders is just as necessary.

Those who are unable to drop food off in person can use the food bank's "Virtual Food Drive" platform at fooddrive.mdfoodbank.org to make donations.

Information on Hunger Action Month is online at secure.feedingamerica.org.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - MD