Maryland Food Bank Needs Water Donations

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Not even halfway through the summer and the Maryland Food Bank is already in dire need of a hot weather essential–but it’s not food.

Andrea Fujii explains how you can help.

After eight days of nearly back-to-back Code Red Heat Advisories and no air conditioning after the June 29 storm, thousands of Marylanders sought relief at cooling centers. But the water that helped cool them off is now in short supply.

“When it’s an unusually hot spell for a long period of time, then that inventory depletes very quickly,” said Jim Pantazis, Maryland Food Bank Operations.

The Maryland Food Bank provides water for dozens of cooling centers across the state and have so far distributed 70,000 bottles–twice as many as last year. So now it’s not food donations they need, it’s water.

Four weeks ago, a storage room was filled with water. Now it’s only a quarter full.

“We have to recoup and figure out how we’re going to get our inventories back to where we need them,” Pantazis said.

As volunteers continue to help families who lost power, hope rests in donors to replenish their empty shelves with more than two months left of summer.

“The agencies that we serve out in the community are helping people to become whole again after the storm,” said Deborah Flateman, Maryland Food Bank CEO.

The Food Bank says water donations always decrease in the summer because it’s in high demand. They’re hoping for 16-ounce bottles, as they’re expecting many more hot days ahead.

The Maryland Food Bank serves nearly 500,000 people across the state.

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