The weather is not the only thing out of kilter these days. Summer is not usually a crisis time for people in Maryland who count on aid from food banks and other feeding programs to keep hunger from the door. But this month, many non-profit food operations around the state are reporting increases in demand of as much as 30 percent.
At the Maryland Food Bank, which supplies church food pantries and other charitable groups, the crisis is especially apparent. Shelves are barren by mid-afternoon, which means the programs supplied by the bank are virtually running on empty.
Bill Ewing, who serves as executive director of the food bank, notes that by the time families turn to churches, they have exhausted any government aid available and are truly desperate. Jobless benefits have run out and, especially toward the end of the month, food stamps are used up and people simply have nowhere else to turn. All those reasons, in addition to generally poor economic conditions, are contributing to the current crunch.