The hungry live all over the Washington region. Maryland is the wealthiest state in the country, but hunger is a growing reality for many. Hunger runs deep in our state, affecting people in every county: seniors, children and working families. Many children go without meals on a daily basis, not by choice. Adults making low wages, often working more than one job, are unable to provide food and basic necessities for their families. About 40% of clients we serve often have to choose whether to pay for housing, utilities, food, medical care, or transportation.
In Maryland, 1 of every 8 households faces constant struggle against hunger. 10.1% of the Maryland population and 13.5% of Maryland’s children are living in poverty. In 2010, about 8% of Montgomery County residents were considered food insecure. Maryland has one of the nation’s highest food insecurity rates for seniors. With food prices soaring, obesity, diabetes and other health-related diseases are on the incline. Healthy, nutritious foods (such as fresh produce) are more expensive and less likely to be purchased, a factor in many health-related issues. Homelessness is on the increase as jobs have become scarce. Many families live in the cold during the winter months and are unable to pay their utility bills.
We are the only food pantry in our area that provides fresh produce weekly. We prevent homelessness through assisting over 100 families with evicition prevention and housing placement. We restore and prevent utility interruptions for 50 families. We work with DHHS and other Health and Human Service agencies to ensure validity of requests. Over 90% of all funds donated go directly to providing the services to our clients in need. RCDC Fights hunger by providing healthy food to over 6000 low-income households annually. Additionally, we provide holiday food baskets to1000 households in November and December in conjunction with the Holiday Giving Project.