Though many of us may not understand the grave disparities that exist in our own communities, people face hunger in every county and congressional district in Maryland. According to Feeding America, 1 in 9 people in Maryland face hunger. 1 in 7 children in Maryland face hunger. No Kid Hungry estimates that 11.1% of all Maryland households are food insecure and Maryland Food Bank has even suggested, due to the that 1 in 3 Marylanders are facing food insecurity. This week provides us a special day to recognize this issue of hunger throughout Maryland and to highlight efforts made to lessen the disparities in our communities.
On March 25th we celebrate Maryland Day—a state holiday commemorating the formal founding of the colony and now, a day to acknowledge our communities, our history, and our progress. It is important to recognize the need in our communities and to highlight organizations that, like Baltimore Hunger Project, dedicate their efforts to eliminate the growing problem of hunger:
Food Rescue Baltimore is a local organization dedicated to food justice. Through their work with a dozen food rescue locations around Baltimore, they are able to reduce food waste, ensure equal access to nutritious food and strengthen communities.
Another Maryland organization dedicated to feeding people, strengthening communities and ending hunger for more Marylanders is Maryland Food Bank. Over the last 42 years, Maryland Food Bank has made efforts to build a food assistance safety net for Maryland through their expertise and statewide network of community partners. Many of these partners reside in Baltimore, including:
- Catholic Charities
- St. Vincent de Paul/ Beans and Bread
- The Door Food Pantry
- Us Helping Us Outreach
- Penn North Resource Center
- Angels Helping Angels
- CityBeat Baltimore
- Fishes and Loaves Pantry
- Women Empowering Women
- Friendship Outreach Center Inc.
Baltimore Hunger Project shares these goals and seeks food justice through our own initiatives and through our mission to eliminate the growing problem of weekend childhood hunger by feeding bodies and minds. We are bridging the gap between Friday and Monday by consistently providing weekend food packages to children identified as food insecure, in a compassionate and dignified manner. Like Food Rescue Baltimore and Maryland Food Bank, we work to raise awareness about the effects of hunger by establishing partnerships with community members, other organizations, and decision makers. Our efforts to build community stem from a recognition of the importance for a shared understanding. When we all understand the issue of hunger, we are better for it. At BHP we recognize the power of people and know that without volunteers, the is no Baltimore Hunger Project.
On this Maryland Day, and every day, we recognize the disparities within our communities, see the dedication of our neighbors and our volunteers to food justice, and promise to continue strengthening bodies, empowering minds, and building communities through food.
Analiese Amato (www.linkedin.com/in/analiese-amato-743418199)