BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The COVID-19 metrics might be trending in the right direction, but that does not mean there are not people struggling to put food on the table.

The Maryland Food Bank reports their one million food-insecure families jumped to 2.5 million as the pandemic forced many out of a job.

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“There is no vaccine for food insecurity, so we expect the 2.5 million Marylanders struggling with food insecurity might take some time to absorb those job losses,” Carmen Del Geurico, Maryland Food Bank President and CEO, said.

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Volunteers and new Food Bank employees said they have seen this happen in their own lives and in the lives of people they know.

“These are regular people these are your neighbor’s next door,” one volunteer told WJZ. “Many of whom are food insecure for the very first time.”

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From March 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, the Food Bank has given out 47 million meals. They have spent $27 million on purchasing food, with a focus on nutrition.

“To provide access to fresh produce and other healthy food was an important part of our mission,” Del Geurico said.

Over 300 organizations come together to help work the 1,400 food distribution sites statewide and volunteers are still needed.

“We want to make sure we’ve been there for the past year and we will be there in the years to come,” Del Geurico said.

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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.

Rachael Cardin