Demand on food banks even greater after holidays

Demand on food banks even greater after holidays

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Even though we might be on the heels of the “season of giving”, the need is still there - specifically, the need for contributions at food banks.

2020 saw a surge in demand, which has challenged organizations like Feed More, which actually expects the surge to continue into the early months of 2021.

“We do get a lot of attention around the holidays, we got a lot of people feeling generous around the holidays, and then that tends to go away in January,” said Feed More’s Chief Development Officer Jeff Wilklow.

Wilklow says this year has seen a 40 to 50 percent increase in demand for food, with the expected increase during the holidays, but luckily the organization had seen “a lot of support coming from the community” in the form of money or volunteers.

One benefit of keeping up with the demand: the non-profit has actually had the opportunity to strengthen ties with community partners, and even tap into demographics that wouldn’t normally turn to food banks.

“We were working with Diversity Richmond. They helped us reach a population we don’t normally reach; they’re very well connected in the Hispanic community,” Wilklow said, speaking about a food drive this past weekend, where 500 people were able to get food. “here was one carload of kids, three kids in their Santa hats who were just so excited about the food they were getting. It was like Christmas to them that they were getting this food. It’s exciting, it’s also heartbreaking.”

It’s moments like those that may continue as we dredge through the pandemic, which is why Feed More will still need the help as we ring in the new year.

“We still have to keep feeding people,” Wilklow said.

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