The Maryland Governor’s Office teamed up with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to deliver two tractor trailer truckloads of donated food to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank on Hunger Action Day, September 17.
"A delivery of this size will fulfill such a need in Anne Arundel County for families who are struggling," said Governor's Office of Community Initiatives Director Steven McAdams. "We are grateful for this partnership with the church that has benefitted so many for six years running. We thank the Anne Arundel County Food Bank for the critical service it provides to the community."
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant detrimental impact on food insecurity in Anne Arundel County. Since March 2020, AACFB has witnessed a 482 percent increase in the number of people seeking assistance at food pantries and, in response, distributed over 7.5 million pounds of food throughout Anne Arundel County. AACFB continues to see an average of 64,000 visits per month to its partner food pantries from people who rely on its food and basic necessity programs.
The need for food donations in Anne Arundel County remains high. In recent months, AACFB has experienced a 76 percent dropoff in food donations. Furthermore, due to the pandemic, AACFB saw yet another event had to cancel its food collection – this time the largest food drive of the year. Kids in the Anne Arundel County school district had historically collected over 150,000 pounds of food each year during the Harvest for the Hungry food drive, and now, for the second year in a row, the pandemic has caused schools to focus on collecting funds instead.
“We haven’t seen these large donations in a really long time,” said Susan Thomas, executive director of Anne Arundel County Food Bank. “At the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses jumped in to help us meet the skyrocketing food needs in our county. But unfortunately, the food donation support has dropped off significantly. We are so thankful for the two tractor trailers of healthy food donations that will go to immediate use to our neighbors in need.”
The tractor trailer food donation comes during Hunger Action Month, a national effort to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. To educate and bring awareness to the issue of hunger and food insecurity in local communities, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank launched a local campaign. Food, funds and awareness raised as part of Hunger Action Month will help provide critical food distribution for children, adults and seniors throughout Anne Arundel County. Learn more and see the latest updates about Hunger Action Month at www.aafoodbank.org/action. Every action, big or small, that Anne Arundel County residents take this September makes a real difference for people battling food insecurity.