Hunger Still A Top Issue Across Maryland

A poll says Marylanders   want more resources devoted to ending hunger.

 

Baltimore, Md (KM). Hunger is still a big issue among Marylanders, according to a poll conducted for the Maryland Food Bank. The survey of 516 randomly selected households in all parts of Maryland,  with the exception of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, found that a majority of state residents believe hunger is an important issue, and they want more financial resources devoted to ending it.

“Hunger is still an issue that Marylanders think a great deal about, and they’re motivated to try to find ways to help solve the issue,” says Carmen Del Guercio, the CEO of the Maryland Food Bank, which provides food to non-profits all over the state, except for Prince George’s and Montgomery County which are served by the Capital Area Food Bank.

He says this poll, taken between October 2nd, and November 4th, 2017, is an update of a survey conducted five years ago.

Despite the improving economy, Del Guercio says hunger and food insecurity is still a problem in Maryland. “For adults, it’s one of nine Marylanders, 682,000. And when you look at kids, it’s even worse. It’s about one out of every five children are food insecure,” he says. Food insecure is not knowing where your next meal will be coming from.

He also says hunger and food insecurity is a problem all over the state, not just in urban areas.. “When you look at how that’s broken down across the state, you see it in every county we serve. When you look at it on a per-capita basis, Baltimore city is the largest jurisdiction, but the next four are either on the Eastern Shore or Western Maryland,”: says Del Guercio. Among the counties with large numbers of residents who are food insecure are Dorchester and Somerset on the Eastern Shore, and Garrett County in the far west.

Del Guercio points out the results of the survey were released following unveiling of President Trump’s budget which calls for drastic reductions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Commodity Supplement Food Program (CSFP), both of which comprise the food assistance and outreach programs administered by the Food Bank.

“And we will also use it  {the results of the survey}  pretty extensively in our outreach  to  legislators both in Annapolis as well as in county governments,” says Del Guercio. “We want to make sure folks there are aware of the challenges that we’re facing and what their constituents are saying about support of this issue.”

The state provides a quarter of the funding for the Maryland Food Bank, but a majority of its funds  come  from individual contributions.

The poll was conducted for the Maryland Food Bank by  OpinionWorks LLC of Annapolis. It has a margin of error of no more than plus or minus 4.3%.

 

By Kevin McManus

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