How Does a Food Bank differ from a Food Pantry?

Food banks are climate-controlled storage facilities that supply bulk foods to area pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.

A Food Bank
A Food Pantry

Food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters provide food from food banks directly to families in need.


Is the Food Bank open to the public?

No. A Food Bank’s mission is to provide a reliable of fresh food to distribution centers such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Feed St. Marys will open to accept donated food items at scheduled dates and times. 

The Lexington Park Rotary Club convened a public-private partnership comprised of social services stakeholders, faith- and community-based organizations, and local government agencies to find a solution to the problem of hunger in St. Mary’s County. The resulting project, Feed St. Mary’s, proposes to partner with the Maryland Food Bank to make adequate nutrition available to those who need it most by creating the first-ever food bank in St. Mary’s County.


Why is Food Bank important to St. Mary’s County?

  • In 2016, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure. ​That’s equal to 42 million Americans including 13 million children. 
  • In some St. Mary’s County districts, more than 35% of families are eligible for some form of federal assistance
  • Roughly 32% of St. Mary’s County School children receive Free or Reduced Meals (FARMS)
  • In 2020, the food insecure population living in St. Mary’s is projected to be above 35,000, slightly less than 1/3 of the population
  • Without a food bank, St. Mary’s County pantries rely on distant suppliers, private donations and grocery purchases to fill their shelves. 

Is Feed St. Mary’s Equipped to do the Job?

With the generous help of our Capital Investors and U-Haul who provides Feed St. Mary’s a sizable location, the Food Bank is fully equipped and ready to initially support up to 10 participating Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens with growth potential in the current location to 25. The plan, however, is to start small with two participating pantries to better refine operating techniques and establish a definitive proof of concept.

How Can I Help?

Feed St. Mary’s needs your assistance! We must rely on volunteer warehouse labor, specialized volunteer support and our many donors to launch and succeed. Please visit our Volunteer Page or if you wish to make a monetary contribution, please visit our Donation Page.

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