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May 12, 2021

There are many important causes about which the members of the Capacity Partners team feel a particular passion -- addressing poverty, supporting the arts, dealing with climate change, and education, among others -- and we are proud of our extensive work with the excellent nonprofit organizations that strive to improve our community.

Fighting food insecurity by working with outstanding nonprofits such as Manna Food Center, the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Montgomery County Food Council, and others has been one of our priorities over the past couple of years. While food insecurity has always been a critical issue, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation. To that end, we've dedicated this issue of the Connector to the complex and pressing problem of hunger in Montgomery County. 

Let's stay connected.

Mary RobinsonCapacity Partners Founder & President 

Skyrocketing Food Insecurity in a Wealthy County

Food insecurity has skyrocketed since the pandemic reached Montgomery County in early 2020, increasing by fifty percent so that now 114,000 Montgomery County residents wonder where their next meal is coming from.

People struggle with food insecurity for a variety of reasons, but significant job loss is creating a crisis that experts predict will continue through 2022

For the past few years, the Capacity Partners team has helped food security nonprofits raise funds and build capacity. We are especially proud of our role supporting food providers to ensure our neighbors have sufficient nutritious food.

Starting in 2018, Capacity Partners worked with Manna Food Center on their incredibly successful capital campaign, Food for All. Jackie DeCarlo, CEO of Manna Food Center said, “The success of Manna’s Food for All capital campaign in 2018 and 2019 gave Manna the ability to respond at a moment’s notice. You never want a pandemic but if you’re going to have one, having it on the heels of a successful campaign is a good time. We had the funds to buy laptops for our people so they could work remotely when Covid-19 first arrived, and we had the capacity to buy what we needed to serve our community, like more fridges.”

Capacity Partners also provided essential development training to and supported the Montgomery County Food Council. “Capacity Partners helped build the capacity of food leaders. This has given our county a meaningful, strong nonprofit structure to lean on when we needed it,” added Heather Bruskin, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Food Council.

Today 1 in 10 Montgomery County Residents are Food Insecure. Nearly 1/3 are Children.

In addition, since the summer of 2020, Capacity Partners has worked with the Greater Washington Community Foundation to help raise more than $2 million for Food for Montgomery, an innovative public-private partnership that is addressing food insecurity in the short-term and ensuring Montgomery County has a robust food distribution system for future crises.

"It’s hard to believe it, but one year ago Food for Montgomery did not exist. Today, nearly 1,000 people, businesses, and foundations have given to fuel this remarkable public-private partnership that is bringing food to thousands of neighbors who might otherwise go to bed hungry,” explained Anna Hargrave, The Community Foundation’s Executive Director for Montgomery County. “The Capacity Partners team was essential to getting more people to understand that the growing hunger crisis is so big and complex, it requires us to marshal the skills and resources of our nonprofits, faith-based communities, restaurants, farmers, and county agencies. To do that, we have to make strategic philanthropic investments that will maximize public and private resources.”

“Capacity Partners and Mary Robinson’s insight treated the Food for Montgomery initiative like a capital campaign. The Greater Washington Community Foundation and Capacity Partners were raising awareness and money for this public-private partnership, but Capacity Partners also pushed Manna to deepen its relationships with its current donors and cultivate new ones. In effect, Food for Montgomery helped Manna continue to build our capacity. Food for Montgomery was the nexus of activity for the food rescue community,” added Jackie DeCarlo.

Capacity Partners is proud to have been able to support our community and work with dedicated nonprofit leaders to ensure that all families can put nutritious, culturally appropriate food on the table.


Capacity Partners offers a full range of strategic and development services offered via consulting, interim staffing, facilitation, coaching, and on-site project management.

Dynamic Planning
Comprehensive Strategic Plans
One-Day Retreats
Implementation Plans and Support
Organizational Vitality Assessment

Capital Campaigns
Feasibility Studies
Fundraising Plans
Major, Planned, and Annual Giving
Special Events

Board Training
Governance Structure
Board Engagement Strategies
Board Self-Assessment
Counsel for Board Chairs

Leadership Coaching
Meeting Facilitation
Operational Analysis
Market Studies
Interim Staffing
Executive Search


Capacity Partners is a consulting firm based in Bethesda, MD, dedicated to strengthening the impact of nonprofits. We blend best practices and original thinking to guide nonprofits to achieve transformative results.

Mary Robinson
President & Founder

Laura Apelbaum
Jeanine Cogan

Louise Stoner Crawford
Julie Crudele
Kristen Engebretsen
Amy Ginsburg
Stephanie Hanson
Debra Liverpool

Steve Longley
Margo Reid
Joan Schaffer
Amy Selco
Daniel Wacker
Sara Watkins
Barbara Wille



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Capacity Partners, Inc.
4701 Sangamore Road, Suite S150
Bethesda, MD 20816

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