SALISBURY, Md. — As part of its commitment to alleviate hunger in its communities, Perdue Farms has delivered an $80,000 grant and 11,000 pounds of nutritious chicken to support the Maryland Food Bank’s (MFB) hunger-relief programs on Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore.
Much of the funding through the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation and chicken will support the food bank’s Mobile Market Program. The financial gift will also support MFB’s FoodWorks Culinary Training Program and its School Pantry program serving Wicomico County Public Schools.
The Perdue gifts are part of the company’s Delivering Hope To Our Neighbors® outreach focused on improving quality of life and building strong communities where Perdue associates live and work, and beyond.
The Mobile Market on the Shore, established in 2020 through gifts from the Perdue family and Perdue Foundation, offers a no-cost food shopping experience in communities where residents have limited access to grocery stores and affordable, healthy food. The Mobile Market also provides access to wraparound services that help put food-insecure Marylanders on the road toward self-sufficiency. The food bank currently has three Mobile Markets that travel across Maryland, with one dedicated to the Eastern Shore and two that serve counties in the northern, southern, and western regions of the state.
“We’re so grateful to have the support of the Perdue Foundation and Perdue Farms as we work to reach more hungry Marylanders through critical resources like our Mobile Market,” MFB President and CEO Carmen Del Guercio said. “Their generosity and partnership over the years have allowed us to serve more of our Eastern Shore neighbors, helping them overcome obstacles to accessing the fresh and nutritious foods that their families need to thrive.”
The FoodWorks Program offers a fresh start to low-income individuals with 12 weeks of intense culinary training. FoodWorks students learn a wide range of cooking fundamentals, food safety essentials, and other important skills employers seek in hiring a well-trained work force. Program participants also receive ServSafe® food safety certification and social services support from the FoodWorks case management team, as well as assistance landing jobs that set them down a path toward financial stability.
The School Pantry Program provides children and their families with a reliable source of healthy and fresh food. By setting up food pantries in neighborhood schools, the stigma of receiving food assistance in an unfamiliar setting is reduced, while the opportunity for community building is increased. The Maryland Food Bank – Eastern Shore Branch currently partners with 21 schools in Wicomico County to ensure children get the nutritious food needed to play, grow, and learn throughout the nine-month school year.
As Kim Nechay, executive director of the Perdue Foundation, explains, “We have a long and strong partnership with the Maryland Food Bank and a shared purpose to help those struggling to put their next meal on the table. The Mobile Market, FoodWorks and school pantries are wonderful examples of Maryland Food Bank programming that is making a real difference in our hometown, the Eastern Shore, and across the state of Maryland.”