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HEALTHY FOOD IS A RIGHT.

United Way of Central Maryland is committed to fighting hunger by providing healthy food and access to healthcare to our neighbors in need. Plus, in 2017 and beyond, we’re looking at broader community health issues. We believe that together, we can fight hunger and create communities where everyone has access to healthy, affordable food.

  • 17.9 million pounds of food (14.9 million meals) distributed to low-income families since 2011.
  • Harvest Helper volunteers gleaned and harvested over 175,000 pounds of produce from local farms for distribution in 2016.
  • Through United Way’s Harvest of Plenty program, 4,200 Thanksgiving meals were distributed to low-income families in 2016.
  • More than 60 volunteers and 30 partner organizations supported the program by handling phone calls, and packing and distributing meals.

SUCCESS STORY: DOUBLE THE BENEFITS FOR EATING HEALTHY

Franny, who relies on food stamps and lives in a food desert, is now able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from urban farm stands in her neighborhood instead of having to go to fast food joints and corner stores. She even receives “double dollars” on healthy purchases with her food stamps.

HOW IT WORKS

GROWING MORE

We aim to source more healthy food locally. This includes growing (contract growing, farm expansion and urban farming) and gleaning.

IMPROVING DISTRIBUTION

With so many people in need, getting the food to them quickly is critical. But we also focus on keeping that food nutritious and safe as long as possible through proper transportation, refrigeration and storage.

INCREASING ACCESS & AFFORDABILITY

To improve access and affordability of food sources, we support after-school meal programs, virtual supermarkets, access to public benefits and so much more.

WHY DO WE NEED IT?

In central Maryland, more than 345,000 people don’t have access to healthy food. When families don’t have nutritious foods, it’s more difficult to work toward becoming self-sufficient. Kids often have a hard time focusing in school and don’t have the energy they need to learn and grow.

On top of that, it’s likely that low-income families already struggle to afford food. The average Maryland SNAP (food stamps) benefit in place towards ending hunger is only $32.11 per week, per person. We all know that the cheapest options aren’t always the healthiest.

Even if healthy food was affordable, it’s hard to get access to it in a food desert. A food desert is an urban neighborhood or rural town without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.  Together, we can stop the hunger that lives within thousands of central Maryland families and individuals.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Help low-income families get access to healthy, affordable food by making a gift.  No one can create change alone That’s why we need you.