FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Since 1979, the Maryland Food Bank has been on a mission to fight hunger. When the pandemic came in march, like so many organizations the food bank had to ramp up production to help those in need.

“Across the state, the need has just risen tremendously in all areas just because we’re seeing increases of populations of folks that are now experiencing food insecurity for the first time,” said Frank Ducey, Director of Regional Programs for Maryland Food Bank -Western Branch.

In an effort to combat the ever-growing battle of food insecurity, the food bank has been working with its statewide network of community organizations to fully maximize money received through the CARES Act. During the past 9 months, the food bank has distributed 47 million pounds of food which is enough to provide 35 million meals.

One of the counties that benefit from these efforts is Frederick County. Through this partnership, the Frederick County Senior Services Division and the Maryland Food Bank–Western Branch has been able to distribute more than 320 pounds of fresh produce boxes, every other week, to seniors in need.

“The bags have been a real godsend to a lot of people and we continue to hear how grateful they are for that,” said Kitty Devilbiss, the director of Home and Community Connections in the Senior Services Division of Frederick County. “These are essential nutrients that can keep a person healthier, out of medical care longer, just so many good reasons for them to have that produce.”

More than 500 seniors in the county have access to fresh boxes of produce in addition to meals and groceries, which is something that in this day and time would otherwise be hard to come by.

“We’re really reaching the entire county of Frederick with these produce boxes and it’s allowing them to get into the hands of families that need them,” said Ducey.

The Maryland Food Bank is looking forward to continuing these operations in 2021. Click here, if you’re interested in helping end hunger in Maryland.