Donation to Food Bank comes during time of record need

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Today, a special delivery was made to the Central Virginia Food Bank. 26,000 pounds of beef was donated by Tyson, in response to a food drive this summer that collected the same around from the community.

It comes just in the nick of time. New numbers released today show that 1 in 7 Americans are living in poverty. That is the highest amount since 1994.

Right now, the shelves at the food bank are running dry. While that typically happens in September, things are worse now because demand is so high. In fact, it's the highest its ever been, after a record year last fiscal year.

Thousands of pounds of beef rolled off the truck -- 26,300 pounds to be exact. All of it, matching the same amount of food that the community here in Richmond donated during the summer.

Donations that Fay Lohr, CEO of Feed More, couldn't be more grateful for. "We are just so excited that we can get 26,300 pounds of beef. That's just an incredible gift," he said.

It comes during an incredibly tough time. "The shelves are empty right now. We are in a panic," he said.

Right now, the food bank is not seeing a donation problem. The problem is a record number of people needing the food here. In fact, the food bank sends out between 50-70,000 pounds of food each day.

To put that into perspective, that's basically more than the food bank raised during today's donation and the summer food drive combined.  

"When I walked in here on Monday morning and saw the shelves were empty, I about had a spasm," Lohr said. 

So, now leaders here are spending nearly double the amount on buying food to fill these shelves, compared to last fiscal year.

Another issue was the state computer glitch last month. When that happened, the food bank saw an influx in people needing food because people couldn't apply for food stamps. Using state-allotted money, leaders here stepped up to help.

"It was very timely that we could go back and help our partners in the state of Virginia," Lohr said.

This, as they try to help themselves stock these dry shelves and feed thousands who rely on this food, everyday.

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