Insights from Baltimore: A Survey of Food Assistance Clients

July 25, 2019

Forty million Americans lack consistent access to the food they need, including all too many children, disabled individuals, veterans, elderly and the working poor. Many turn to food pantries and other sources of donated food to fill that gap. As part of NRDC’s Food Matters project, we commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 individuals in Baltimore who receive food assistance from pantries, shelters and other locations in the community. The aim was to better understand how well the food rescue system in Baltimore is serving those in need -- from their perspective -- and how it can become more nimble, responsive and reflective of community aspirations. This report shares that input and highlights the on-going need to improve availability of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins and culturally appropriate foods and to overcome barriers to accessing food assistance, among an array of additional findings.