Despite living in one of the wealthiest states in the country, many Marylanders struggle with hunger.
- Nearly 10 percent of Marylanders (pdf) live below the poverty line.
- One in ten Maryland households face “limited or uncertain access to enough healthy food,” a condition called “food insecurity.”
- Food insecurity is even higher in households with children; in fact, 17 percent of households with children in Maryland are food insecure.”
- Twelve percent of people in Maryland participate in the Food Supplement Program (formerly known as Food Stamps). The average benefit was $125.05 per person, per month in FFY 2017. (Source: FY 2017 DHR FIA Statistical Report.)
- Over forty-four percent of children in Maryland are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, meaning their families’ incomes were at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. (Source: Maryland State Department of Education data for the 2016-2017 school year.)
With the cost of living in Maryland well above the national average, many families are struggling to pay their housing costs, put gas in their cars and pay their bills.
Hunger and food insecurity can have long-term implications, which may include a higher risk for diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and osteoporosis.
But the federal nutrition programs can help. Programs like the Food Supplement Program, school meals, afterschool and summer meals, and WIC can help connect struggling Marylanders to three meals a day.