The food we distribute comes from 3 sources. About 80% of the food is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), via The Emergency Food Assistance Program referred to as TEFAP. This program is administered locally for the state of Maryland by the Department of Human Resources.
About 10% of our food is purchased, usually from the Maryland Food Bank and the remaining 10% comes from donations.
Each month SMM tries to provide a food package that provides nutritious choices and variety. The TEFAP foods include canned fruits and vegetables, juice, some protein foods such as beef stew or canned salmon, and frozen meats. Each family receives a box of dry or canned foods, a frozen bag that includes meat and often frozen pasta, bread and baked goods as available, and a personal care product such as mouthwash or toothpaste.
The purchased and donated foods supplement the TEFAP foods. These foods make the overall food box friendlier, no one wants all canned vegetables! To increase the amount of dairy foods and calcium we purchase yogurt or cheese from MFB when available. MFB and Panera Bread both provide donated breads and desserts. Each winter we also receive donated venison. Donations are an important part of what we put into our food box each month.