Regional Funders Join Forces to Inspire Support of Hunger Relief Efforts During Pandemic - Capital Area Food Bank
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Regional Funders Join Forces to Inspire Support of Hunger Relief Efforts During Pandemic

By cafb September 16, 2020

$1.5 million Covid-19 Match Challenge Kicks Off During National Hunger Action Month

Washington, DC, September 17, 2020 – The Capital Area Food Bank today announced that three funders have come together during Hunger Action Month to provide a $1.5 million Covid-19 Match Challenge to inspire additional community support for hunger relief efforts during the pandemic. The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and The Morningstar Foundation will match all gifts made to the food bank dollar-for-dollar, up to $1.5 million, during September and October.

“This level of need is beyond anything our organization has experienced in its 40-year history,” said Radha Muthiah, President and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “Every dollar provided by our donor community creates a lifeline for a neighbor that’s lost a job and is wondering how they’ll feed their family tonight. We couldn’t be more thankful for the generosity of our partners, the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, and The Morningstar Foundation for inspiring even more support by doubling the impact of those who give during this critical time.”

The matching grant and additional funds that it generates will enable the CAFB to supply more food through its nonprofit partners in the region, and through direct distributions of emergency boxes of shelf stable goods and produce. The donation will also support the food bank’s preparations as it develops initiatives to meet the anticipated longer-term need arising from the toll of COVID-19 on the area economy.

“The Capital Area Food Bank, already a trusted anchor in our community, has risen to this unprecedented challenge with generosity and thoughtful action to help our neighbors in need,” said Clark Foundation CEO and President Joe Del Guercio. “It’s critical that we all come together to support the local organizations on the frontlines working hard to provide much needed relief.”

In previous years, the food bank has provided over 30 million meals each year through a network of what is normally 450+ nonprofit partners.  Amid spikes in demand caused by the coronavirus, the food bank expects to provide upwards of 45 million meals this year, even as nearly 50% of that network has temporarily closed.

“Food security has been a longstanding issue in the D.C. region and has only been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mieka Wick, Executive Director of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation. “We strongly encourage our fellow community members to support the ongoing hunger relief efforts of the Capital Area Food Bank and its partners.”

Even prior to the pandemic, nearly 400,000 people in the region struggled with hunger and food insecurity.  In recent months, demand for emergency food has soared as unemployment claims have risen, and the Capital Area Food Bank projects that food insecurity rates will rise by as much as 60% over the coming year.  Following major declines in retail donations since the pandemic began, the food bank will spend four times more on food this year than in those prior in order to meet the current need.

“It is vitally important to support the Capital Area Food Bank during this challenging time, as the organization is working tirelessly to meet the critical hunger needs of the community,” said Susie and Michael Gelman, Directors of The Morningstar Foundation. “We hope that this matching grant will encourage others to step up as well.”

About the Capital Area Food Bank

Now commemorating its 40th anniversary year, the Capital Area Food Bank works to address hunger today and create brighter futures tomorrow for over 400,000 people across the region experiencing food insecurity – a number that is expected to rise dramatically in the months to come. As the anchor in the area’s hunger relief infrastructure, the food bank will provide over 40 million meals to people in need this year by supplying food to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including Martha’s Table, SOME – So Others Might Eat, DC Central Kitchen, Food for Others, Manna, and others.