Hunger in Maryland
Despite living in one of the wealthiest states in the country, many Marylanders struggle with hunger.
- In the wealthiest state in the country, one in eight households faces a constant struggle against hunger.
- Nearly 21 percent of households with children struggle to obtain enough food to provide regular, healthy meals for their family.
- Nearly 10 percent of Marylanders live below the poverty line.
With the cost of living in many Maryland counties well above the national average, families are struggling to pay their housing costs, put gas in their cars and pay their heating and air conditioning bills. Many Maryland families may make choices that lead to hunger and poor nutrition. Many children go without meals. Adults struggling with low wages wonder if they have enough food to last the week. Seniors must choose between paying for food or for medicine.
Hunger and food hardship have long-term implications, some of which last a lifetime. These impacts include: obesity, poor academic achievement, long-term economic costs, dental problems, low birth weight, and mental health issues.
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.
Maryland Hunger Solutions has created this section of our website to explore hunger in our state, to describe its implications for residents, and to outline solutions to ending it.