DUNDALK — Amazon donated $30,000 to the Maryland Food Bank last Tuesday, with intentions to help decrease area childhood hunger, and assist with the continuation of supplying items to local school food pantries.
Sandy Plains Elementary, Dundalk Middle School and Patapsco High School will benefit from the $30,000 donation from Amazon.
The corporation partnered with the Maryland Food Bank to host a Heart Market event at Dundalk Middle School, teaching families how they can use nutritious items from the food pantry to create healthy meals that are enjoyable. Families at the event could take food home.
There are 655,000 Marylanders, including more than 204,000 children that are food insecure, and “that’s far too many people,” according to Maryland Food Bank president and CEO Carmen Del Guercio.
“We have to continue to find ways to reach as many folks that we can, and school pantries are a great avenue for doing that because the schools are connected to the community,” he noted.
Amazon said they were committed to finding innovative, impactful solutions to increase access to food for children and families in local communities.
“Every child and young adult needs access to necessities like food to achieve their best future,” Sparrows Point Amazon center’s director of operations Tim Foley said.
“We know that when students have reliable access to nutritious food, they feel better and perform better both in and outside the classroom.”
The $30,000 donation will support approximately 1,600 children and families in the Dundalk area. Since 2015, Amazon has donated 700,000 pounds of food to the Maryland Food Bank.
“The relationship between the food bank and Amazon continues to grow,” Del Guerci said.
“We distribute food to about 250 schools across the state, and our ability to partner with organizations like Amazon will ensure that these schools will continue to get access to the tremendous amount of food with as much nutritional value as we can provide. In the end, not only do we want to distribute food — we want to make sure we’re putting out the best quality food we possibly can. We appreciate all the support.”
It takes more than food to end hunger, Del Guerci said.
“It takes a village.”
Dundalk Middle School principal Natalie Adams thinks it’s “great” to see Amazon in the community and giving back.
“So many of us know the name of Amazon, and we’re familiar with the company, but it’s really nice to see first hand, and experience first hand what they’re doing to give back. And we’re happy to experience that directly,” she said.
“I’m honored that our school was selected. I think it really celebrates the great work that our teachers are doing in the food pantry, and it really illuminates what we’re doing, so the community can see first hand.”
Sen. Johnny Ray Salling, R-6, and Del. Ric Metzgar, R-6, believe that Amazon and the Maryland Food Bank are doing great things to end hunger in Dundalk.
“We have great programs in our community. We want to do so much more and we can,” Saling said.
“It does take a village, but it takes the people when you reach out, for them reaching back. Working together as a team will make a difference.”
“It is especially a great day when you have community groups, as the food bank, and Amazon working together,” Metzgar said.
“We get much done when we put our hands together, and work together to get the bottom-line taken care of. Feeding our kids is an absolute must.”