Each September, national organizations and local and state food banks unite to bring awareness to food insecurity nationwide. During Hunger Action Month, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank (AACFB) calls on county residents to take action on the issue of hunger in our community. As part of its local campaign, AACFB has created an action calendar with steps to help our neighbors in need and ease food insecurity.
Although Anne Arundel County is one of the wealthiest counties in the state, an estimated 35 percent of county residents (individuals and families) are below the federal poverty level or are employed but unable to meet basic needs (food, childcare, housing, healthcare, and transportation). Between July 2022 and June 2023, our total network of food pantries recorded 48,000 visits each month.
“No one should have to worry about how they will get their next meal,” said Anne Arundel County Food Bank Chief Executive Officer Leah Paley. “All of our network partners operating food pantries are seeing increased demand. Months of increased food, transportation, and other basic living costs are forcing families to make difficult decisions. Skipping a nutritious meal should never be a choice, but unfortunately, we know this happens all too often.”
The calendar, available online at www.aafoodbank.org/action, includes an array of big and small steps, including:
- Raising awareness: Wear orange (the color for Hunger Action Month) and share support of efforts to alleviate food insecurity on social media. Tag @aafoodbank and hashtag #HungerActionAACo.
- Raising funds: Invite friends and family to join in the effort by starting a fundraiser to support Anne Arundel County Food Bank or by making a one-time or recurring donation.
- Hosting a food drive: Hold a food drive in your neighborhood, workplace, or place of worship to collect food that will be distributed to our neighbors throughout Anne Arundel County.
- Donating food and funds at local businesses: Himmel’s Garden Center in Pasadena and Homestead Gardens (Davidsonville and Severna Park) are collecting food donations and are taking donations of money at their registers.
Food, funds, and awareness raised as part of Hunger Action Month will go to support the work of the food bank, including purchasing food (especially lean meats, fresh produce, and infant formula) which is then given to the food bank’s network of partners operating food, baby, and senior pantries at 115 distribution locations across the county. The Anne Arundel County Food Bank provides food and basic necessities free of charge to its network partners. Shelf-stable foods from community-organized food drives and individual donations augment the deliveries to the pantries.