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Maryland Food Bank Needs Volunteers

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Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Food Bank needs help. Right now, there is a serious backlog of donations because there are fewer volunteers.

Jessica Kartalija reports the food bank is having a difficult time getting food to those who need it.

Every week, some 600,000 Marylanders rely on the help of the Maryland Food Bank. Now more than half a million pounds of food is sitting at the Baltimore County warehouse waiting to be distributed.

“We just don’t have enough volunteers to get through it. We rely entirely on volunteers to sort and pack all of this food that is coming into our warehouse,” said Kate Sam.

While the supply is there, for now the food bank is having trouble keeping up with demand. Now they’re looking for volunteers to help sort a backlog of donated food.

“Volunteerism always drops in January. People get back in their routines and they forget about hunger, which is on top of mind always during the holidays,” Sam said.

Following dramatic cuts to the nation’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, there may be an increased need for help.

Cathy D’Martino is a volunteer from Bank of America.

“Maryland Food Bank really needs volunteers because people, in the winter time, they don’t come out to help as much. As you can see, the food bank really needs volunteers,” she said.

The demand is so high, food that the volunteers pack up is shipped off to soup kitchens and pantries within hours.

Volunteer sessions are typically in three-hour shifts. Those interested in helping out can do so individually or with a group. All they have to do is make an appointment in advance.

All volunteers must be 18 or older, unless they are part of a youth volunteer program.

Click here for more information.

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