Over the last 25 years, the Baltimore Ravens and the Maryland Food Bank (MFB) have partnered on numerous initiatives to help combat food insecurity throughout the state of Maryland. As one of the Ravens' longest-standing nonprofit partners, MFB has an extensive history of fighting hunger.
"The last 11 months have been the most challenging in the Maryland Food Bank's 40-plus year history, but over that time, the Baltimore Ravens have been by our side, supporting us at every turn," MFB President & CEO Carmen Del Guercio said. "From the incredible infusion of financial donations early into the pandemic, to their amazing support throughout the football season, the Ravens have really stepped up as partners in the fight against hunger. Without the Baltimore Ravens, it would have been difficult to provide the critical resources needed to successfully execute our emergency relief efforts in response to this unprecedented crisis."
Throughout 2020 and the unparalleled 2020-21 football season, the Ravens have continued to support MFB's mission to provide ongoing assistance for food-insecure families and reduce the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Relief Donations
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ravens Foundation, Inc. donated $250,000 to MFB as they worked to meet the sudden needs of food-insecure families in Maryland. In May 2020, the Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation and the Baltimore Ravens also donated $1 million to MFB as part of ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts. The funds were used to support MFB's Phase 1 and 2 response plans to meet Maryland's growing demand for food and to help sustain MFB's food assistance safety net. Additionally, in December 2020, the Ravens Foundation, Inc. donated proceeds from fan cutouts purchased throughout the NFL season to support local nonprofits' COVID-19 relief efforts, including MFB. In all, nearly $1.3 million was donated to MFB in 2020.
25th Annual Ravens Family Food & Funds Drive
Throughout November 2020, the Ravens, Maryland Food Bank, Safeway, WBAL-TV 11, WBAL NewsRadio, 98 Rock and Von Paris Moving & Storage teamed up to execute the 25th Annual Ravens Family Food & Funds Drive. This past season, the Ravens surpassed previous collection goals and generated up to 1.5 million meals for food-insecure Marylanders – over a 10,000% increase in the total sum of donations from the 2019 Food & Funds Drive. This initiative was made possible through MFB's "Giving Tuesday Phone-a-Thon," in-store cash collections at Baltimore area Safeway stores and online donations. Over the past 25 years, the Ravens have helped provide approximately 10 million meals to the Maryland Food Bank.
CareFirst and Ravens Food Mobile
To help fight hunger and increase access to healthy food choices in our community, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and the Baltimore Ravens joined forces to donate the Fresh Food Mobile to the Maryland Food Bank in December 2019. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fresh Food Mobile has been instrumental in helping MFB distribute "Grab and Go" meals to kids and their families at sites across Central Maryland. Throughout the Ravens season, the Mobile distributed 51,000 meals in the Baltimore area between nine sites.
About the Maryland Food Bank
- As the only nonprofit built to feed hungry Marylanders statewide, the Maryland Food Bank has taken decisive action since COVID-19 first emerged in the spring. Between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021, MFB distributed enough food to provide nearly 51 million meals to Marylanders in need, an 88% increase over the previous year's distribution rate during the same period.
- From March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021, the food bank also distributed 374,075 "Back Up Boxes," which are 30-pound emergency food boxes that serve as a "back up" in situations where MFB programs and regular distribution channels are not available; distributed 598,374 "Grab and Go" meals for kids and their families who have lost access to the meals they rely on due to closed schools; and hosted 3,200 "Pantry on the Go" events – pop up events that deliver shelf stable food and fresh produce to areas that lack access to stationary food pantries.
- The food bank is mostly in need of healthy non-perishable food items, including canned proteins like tuna, chicken and peanut butter, canned fruits in fruit juice and low-sodium vegetables, shelf-stable milk, breakfast items, rice and pasta.
To learn more about Maryland Food Bank and how you can support, please visit: mdfoodbank.org