McLEAN, VIRGINIA (April 24, 2020) — The Mars Foundation today announced it has made a $500,000 donation to the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) in Washington D.C. to help address increased hunger and food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19. This donation is in addition to Mars, Incorporated’s $20 million in cash and in-kind giving to support communities’ response and recovery.
Since the global pandemic, the Capital Area Food Bank has seen a significant increase in requests from those requiring assistance, with many of the nonprofit organizations it supplies food to reporting between 30% and 400% increases in the numbers of people coming through their doors.
The donation from the Mars Foundation, operated on behalf of the Mars Family, will provide critical nutrition to nearly 400,000 individuals struggling with hunger and food insecurity in the region by enabling the food bank to procure and distribute additional food. It will also increase CAFB’s capacity to help members of the hardest hit communities, such as the hospitality and service industries, who are newly in need of food assistance due to reduced wages or job loss as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, the Mars Foundation’s investment will support the food bank’s preparations to respond to the longer-term economic impacts of the pandemic with more targeted initiatives as the situation develops.
Radha Muthiah, President & Chief Executive Officer, Capital Area Food Bank said: “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary partners. The pandemic has created enormous hardship in our region, and it’s the incredible generosity from community supporters like Mars that will make it possible for our neighbors get the food they need today and in the months ahead.”
The Capital Area Food Bank works to address hunger today and create brighter futures tomorrow for the nearly 400,000 people across the region experiencing food insecurity. As the anchor in the area’s hunger relief infrastructure, the food bank provides over 30 million meals to people in need each year by supplying food to 450+ nonprofit organizations, including Martha’s Table, SOME – So Others Might Eat, DC Central Kitchen, Food for Others, Manna, and others.
Otis O. Otih, on behalf of the Mars Foundation commented: “We’re proud to support the Capital Area Food Bank in their important work providing healthy meals to many people struggling with hunger and food insecurity during these particularly challenging times. We will get through this pandemic by supporting one another, and that’s what this commitment to our local community is all about.”
About the Mars Foundation
The mission of the Mars Foundation, established in 1956, is primarily to support organizations that operate as part of our McLean, Virginia headquarters’ ‘hometown’ (Washington, Maryland, Virginia) and are making a difference in the world, or enriching the local community through their focus on: Animal/Wildlife/Environment; Arts/Culture; Civic/Community; Education; Health/Human Services; and Historic Preservation. The Mars Foundation seeks to work with local organizations where smaller grants can make a big difference.