The Anne Arundel County Food Bank’s second annual Feeding Hope event, presented by M&T Bank on May 18, raised over $80,000 to help meet the unprecedented increase in requests for food assistance throughout Anne Arundel County. Over 200 food bank supporters attended the event held at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville and came together to raise funds to help their food-insecure neighbors fill their tables with fresh, nutritious food for themselves and their families.
Each year, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank recognizes that meeting the needs of the community takes collective action and recognizes its “hunger heroes.” Hunger heroes are those individuals and businesses that go above and beyond to help not just the Anne Arundel County Food Bank, but more importantly, their neighbors facing food insecurity. This year’s hunger heroes include the following honorees:
Lifetime Impact: Rick Smoak & David Petrillo
The Lifetime Impact award is given to an individual who, over time, has contributed significant expertise, passion, and commitment to AACFB. The AACFB recognized Rick Smoak and David Petrillo for their tremendous impact on our programs. Over the past eight years, they have work to pick up food donations throughout the county and have logged thousands of miles in service to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
Commitment to Service: Midshipman Action Group
The Commitment to Service award honors an individual or a group of people who made a tremendous impact on the organization during the previous year. The AACFB honored the Midshipman Action Group not only for their service this past year but also for their longstanding relationship over the past 13 years. The Midshipman Action Group has focused on multiple food bank projects throughout this time to assist local neighbors in need. One such project enabled AACFB to triple its fresh produce storage capacity. Their annual drive has provided cumulatively over 486,561 pounds of food to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
Community Partner: Crosby Marketing Communications
The Community Partner Award spotlights businesses and service groups that have gone above and beyond to support the mission of AACFB. Throughout the years, Crosby Marketing Communications has responded with significant support each time the company heard of a challenge confronting the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
When the food bank’s major spring food drive was canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic, Crosby Marketing Communications offered a matching gift challenge of $50,000. Over the past five years, Crosby Marketing has donated over $240,000 to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank, and with its three matching gifts, has inspired an additional $490,000 of giving in support of the food bank’s work.
Overall, the event was successful, uplifting and full of hope, according to members of the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
Event attendees were treated to small plates from 10 local restaurants, plus fine wine, beer, and margaritas, and live music by Red Betty & The Ruckus. The program portion of the event was led by the master of ceremonies, Michael Hughes, who along with a matching challenge from Sisco Associates, inspired the crowd to raise an additional $21,000.
Community support comes at a time when the Anne Arundel County Food Bank is seeing an increase in food needs in the county. In 2023, AACFB has been seeing pantry visits increase dramatically each month, now up to 52,000 points of service in March. This high level of need rivals the height of the pandemic.
The AACFB thanks its presenting event sponsor, M&T Bank, and every Feeding Hope event supporter who helped raise money to ensure everyone has enough to eat in Anne Arundel County. If you were unable to attend and still want to help, consider making a donation today at www.aafoodbank.org/donate.