BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Food Bank has recently hired 30 temporary full-time employees to help pack “back up boxes” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s a job that’s typically done by volunteers however due to the uncertainty of the volunteer network and the increase demand the food bank decided to bring on the additional employees.

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The new team is cranking out boxes at record pace, up to 2,000 a day, all while earning an essential paycheck.

“Our ability to provide them with some financial support by providing a job, obviously keeps them from having to present themselves at a food bank perhaps,” Rick Condon, the VP of Operations at the Maryland Food Bank, said.

Beth Sopel worked in the restaurant industry for over 10 years before being laid off.

“It was very jarring for me,” Sopel said. “I went from working all the time to now working at all.”

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Sopel is now one of the employees packing up these boxes of food.


She said it keeps her mind busy also keeps her mind busy and gives her a way to help others “that are more burdened than I am.”

If you want to help, you can donate the funds to provide a back up box to a family in need.

A complete box is $50 and it provides enough food to feed a family of four for up to a week. You can also donate money to cover individual items in the box.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher