Over the past year, we captured honest conversations from Marylanders who struggle every day to put food on the table. Our goal? To lift the veil that obscures the complexity and reality of hunger in our state. Today, nearly 1 in 8 people in Maryland face food insecurity — it might be a friend, a student, a colleague, or a grandparent. The truth is, it doesn’t matter who it is. Hunger impacts all of us.
We are the same. We need food. We are One Maryland.
When the Maryland Food Bank’s marketing team first imagined this campaign, we kept returning to the idea of “One Maryland,” and the shared sense of pride many of us feel for our state.
Armed just with a camera and a microphone, our team crisscrossed the state to capture the stories and images of Marylanders who rely on our food assistance network. While we didn’t know precisely where the project would take us, we did have a few initial goals that drove our vision.
We wanted to challenge misperceptions about hunger, and those who are hungry. . . and dispel the notion that only certain kinds of people in unusual situations find themselves facing food insecurity.
At the Maryland Food Bank, we know firsthand that many of those facing hunger in our state are not who you might expect. Eighty-five percent of the people we serve are not homeless. Nearly forty percent earn too much to qualify for any nutrition assistance programs but not enough to regularly put food on the table.
Our storytellers reflect the state’s demographics, spanning individuals of all ages, races, and walks of life.
So who are they? They are people who can’t find good jobs. Veterans on disability. Senior citizens. Students working towards a career. Families stretching a tight budget across rising expenses.
We wanted to capture honest, firsthand accounts of hunger in Maryland. Every person we interviewed shared a personal story of a life that didn’t go as planned. Their stories reveal interrelated issues of health, employment, and family. Each storyteller exposed the hidden landscape of hunger that exists in Maryland today.
The One Maryland campaign is a vibrant compilation of original photos, quotes, anecdotes, and stories. But we didn’t produce this campaign just to create an archive.
We hope the experience of hearing these stories will cultivate conversations and provide a catalyst for social change. We hope that more Marylanders will begin to take action and create a different future for our state.
Can you imagine a Maryland without hunger?
The Maryland Food Bank can.
The One Maryland campaign was produced by the Marketing Department at the Maryland Food Bank with the support of Rowdy Orbit Media and Entertainment. Contributors include: Brian Albright, Jami Dodson, Elizabeth Gaucher, Becca Heller, Meg Kimmel, Jati Lindsay, Lindsay Machak, Jonathan Moore, and Joanna Warner. We appreciate everyone who took time to share their stories and helped make this campaign a reality.
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