The Maryland Food Bank is celebrating 40 years of Leading the Fight Against Hunger in the state of Maryland and hosted their community HEART Market Tuesday morning alongside Smithsburg’s very own Tabitha’s Table.

HEART Market stands for Healthy Eats Are Really Tasty. Students from the food bank’s culinary training program were on hand to offer food tastings, nutrition education and food demonstrations for the public.

“We identify Tabitha’s Table as one of the strong partners in the community and Smithsburg as an area of need,” said Regional Program Director of the Western Branch Frank Ducey. “It definitely has some unique challenges, transportation is one, there’s a lot of folks especially elderly residents who are homebound so they can’t drive their car out here.”

Co-founder of Tabitha’s Table Helene Ridenour says that the food bank also helps support the Smithsburg community when resources are limited.

“They have to travel seven miles to get a bigger market,” said Ridenour. “The Dollar General stocks some things but it’s still not enough. So, we are very thankful that we can get what we can from Maryland Food Bank to be able to supplement for people.”

The Maryland Food Bank’s goal isn’t to simply provide food and move on. At Tuesday’s event with the help of many organizations, the community had access to diabetes and high blood pressure checks, literacy information and even help with financial planning

“We want to incorporate that relief service into the food that we’re already doing, to provide that wrap around to get you food that you need today but help for tomorrow,” said Ducey.

According to the Maryland Food Bank, the Western Branch in Hagerstown distributed enough food last year to provide almost seven-million meals.