Feeding Hope Benefit Raises Over $112,000 For Anne Arundel County Food Bank

Fundraiser Supports Food Bank Mission, Purchase of Healthy Food


On May 22, the Anne Arundel County Food Bank (AACFB) held its third annual Feeding Hope benefit at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville. Through sponsorships and donations at the event, presented by the Dietrich Family Foundation, the food bank raised more than $112,000 to support its work to provide fresh, nutritious food to neighbors in need across Anne Arundel County.

“I’ve experienced firsthand the harsh realities of hunger, poverty, and dependence on community generosity for survival,” said Ethan Dietrich, founder of the Dietrich Family Foundation. “Not long ago, I was living alone in Louisiana as a young private in the U.S. Army. After budget cuts led to the closure of the chow halls, we were given a mere $140 per month for food — on average $2.50 a day and the same price as one Big Mac. As an 18-year-old consuming over 10,000 calories a day, I was constantly hungry. My body was painfully thin, a condition that persisted for about two years. Without the support of my seniors and the local church food pantry, my situation would have been even more dire.”

Ethan continued: “Every Sunday, I attended church, not only for spiritual sustenance, but also for the meals and additional food they provided for the week. Missing a Sunday meant going hungry. This is the crucial, often overlooked work that the AACFB undertakes daily. I am deeply appreciative of their commitment and ongoing efforts to tackle food insecurity in our community.”

Recent estimates find 8% of county residents (more than 47,000 people) face food insecurity: the lack of consistent access to enough healthy, nutritious food. After 2023 cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also know as food stamps), food bank partners operating food, baby and senior pantries have seen increased demand, on average assisting more than 48,000 neighbors in need each month.

“While inflation has lessened, food prices have remained elevated and many families have difficulty keeping up with food costs,” said AACFB CEO Leah Paley. “I am so heartened by the outpouring of generosity from the Anne Arundel community. Supporting the food bank, whether by buying a ticket to Feeding Hope, donating your time at our warehouse, or organizing a healthy food drive, helps put nutritious food on the tables of families in need throughout Anne Arundel County.”

During Feeding Hope, AACFB recognized its 2024 Hunger Heroes. Honored this year are H. Lawrence Clark (Lifetime Achievement), Anne Arundel County Public Schools (Commitment to Service) and Millersville’s Fence & Deck Connection (Community Partner).

Local restaurants provided in-kind donations of tastings of their specialty food and beverages. Returning favorite Caliente Grill, offered bites of Latin cuisine and margaritas, and were joined by Sprout Annapolis, Garten by Preserve, Cafe Mezzanotte, David’s Restaurant and Bar, Level: A Small Plates Lounge, Vin 909 Winecafe, West End Grill, Wegmans Food Markets, Westin Annapolis, and The Big Bean. Libations were provided by Breakthru Beverage Group, Katcef Brothers, and Chesapeake Bartenders. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed music from Red Betty & The Ruckus.

Many county businesses and organizations sponsored this year’s benefit, including presenting sponsor the Dietrich Family Foundation, premier sponsor and venue host Homestead Gardens; platinum sponsors Drum, Loyka & Associates, Lift As We Climb: A New Energy Equity Foundation, and Wegmans Food Markets, gold sponsors Fence & Deck Connection, Landmark Roofing, Lawn Doctor, Performance Food Group, Wagner Food Service, and WesBanco; and silver sponsors UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Excel Mechanical, Mark and Nancy Hartzell, Heritage Baptist Church, Edward F. Herold, Jr., CPA, Huff Insurance, Katcef Brothers, Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland, M&T Bank, Northwestern Mutual, Petitbon Alarm Company, Cindy and Tim O’Neill, Perry, White, Ross, & Jacobson, Salt Creek Gardens, Saval Foodservice, Shore United Bank, Significance, Inc., Studio 343, Wellpoint, and ZIPS Cleaners. Eye on Annapolis and Annapolis Moms Media were Feeding Hope’s media sponsors.


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