Food insecurity in central Virginia on the rise due to the pandemic

Food insecurity in central Virginia on the rise due to the pandemic
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Working adults and children suffer from food insecurity every day. That’s why the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is calling on neighbors to step up and help fight hunger in central Virginia.

“We want individuals who need help to get the food that they need. We don’t want anyone going without,” Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Community Relations Manager Abena Foreman-Trice said.

Last year, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank served over 100,000 families across Virginia. This year, that number has increased due to the coronavirus.

“This fiscal year ending since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic including that window of time, we served an average of 115,000 individuals on average,” Foreman-Trice said.

Foreman-Trice says in June, 12% of people coming to the food bank were those who have never sought emergency food assistance before.

“Parents, adults, seniors who suffer from food insecurity find it challenging to do their best in the workplace. They are at greater risk for health problems, chronic diseases that are related to food,” she said.

The pandemic has put people’s paychecks and employment statuses up in the air leaving more families hungry.

“The amount of food we are distributing through our warehouses and throughout our service area is 30% higher than the amount of food that we distributed last year,” Foreman-Trice said.

Foreman-Trice says there are simple ways you can help. “Donations are a wonderful way of helping the food bank to secure and acquire the good nutrition that we need to distribute to individuals and communities who need our help.”

Showing up and volunteering even for an hour can go a long way. “Neighbors have really come together and made a decision that they had the time and ability and were at a low risk. They decided to step out and come to us in order to help us do our work,” Foreman-Trice said.

Foreman-Trice adds that just a $1 donation can provide someone with four meals.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.

NBC29 and our sponsors are partnering with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to help feed our neighbors. Our goal is to supply 100,000 meals with a campaign goal of $25,000. Your gift will go to benefit the Thomas Jefferson Branch. Click here to read more about the campaign.

Seven Days of Sharing Sponsors
Seven Days of Sharing Sponsors (Source: WVIR)