BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For struggling families, the Maryland Food Bank has been a vital resource. In April, they distributed almost 4.5 million pounds of food, that’s 2 million pounds more than last April.

As volunteers sort donations, forklifts move pallets of food. The Maryland Food Bank is running on all cylinders.

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Carmen DelGuercio is President and CEO of the Maryland Food Bank.

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“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in demand come mid-March, as soon as this whole pandemic broke, and this has really stayed at this elevated level,” DelGuercio said.

In March and April the Maryland Food Bank distributed more than 8 million pounds of food, 3 million pounds more than the same period of that time last year.

“It’s really causing us to think about the fact that this is going to be a long-term scenario where we’re going to have these elevated needs for food,” DelGuercio said.

Providing more food means spending more money. In April, the Maryland Food Bank spent $1.8 million on food, compared to $426,000 in April of 2019. It’s something they were able to do thanks in part to an outpouring of support from the community.

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“We’re very grateful for that level of support because it’s allowing us buy into that increased demand level,” DelGuercio said.

DelGuercio said they anticipate having to operate at this level through the end of the year, but thinks the effects could be felt much longer.

“I will tell you, I think we’re anticipating feeling the effects of this all through calendar 21 and into 22,” he said.

And with the continued support of their partners, the Maryland Food Banks hopes to continue meeting that need.

“We see it from every corner, every angle, people are trying to help up and help in someway, and it just fuels our energy to try to be there even more than we have had before to make sure we respond,” DelGuercio said.

So, how can you help? They say donations are always needed. Food, time or money.

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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