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Nonprofit fights food insecurity with help from cattle farmer

Through social media, a woman partnered with the owner of a cattle farm to tackle food insecurity
Through social media, a woman was able to partner with the owner of a cattle farm to tackle food insecurity in Central Virginia.
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:12 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - “Lending Helping Hands” is a nonprofit on a mission to do just that - lend a helping hand to those in need.

LaVerle Talley started the organization at the height of the pandemic.

Through social media, she was able to partner with the owner of a cattle farm to tackle food insecurity.

Libby Lewis is the co-owner of Lewis Cattle Company in Augusta County and she’s donating hundreds of pounds of beef.

As the truck approaches Talley’s home on Clodfelter Drive in Richmond, it’s a sign of hope for so many in need.

“We’re going to bless people who are hungry, people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said Talley.

She saw a post from Lewis Cattle Company on Facebook talking about their mission to fight food insecurity by donating beef to charities and people in need.

“LaVerle reached out to me independently and said that she feeds families and individuals on the streets and Richmond and Chesterfield and Colonial Heights and asked if we’d be willing to donate, and we said absolutely,” said Lewis.

Talley takes it from there, making a home-cooked meal and then delivering it to the community.

“LaVerle and her husband have basically converted their home and to a staging area to be able to provide not only food, but clothing, female hygiene products, anything that people that are out on the street struggling need,” said Lewis.

Talley’s idea for a nonprofit started when she accompanied a friend to hand out meals at a Petersburg motel.

“We drove in a parking lot. She blew her horn and kids started running out of the rooms. It was pouring down rain and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I never knew kids lived in hotels.’ You didn’t see parents, you saw kids. They knew her horn,” said Talley.

Her mission has grown ever since.

With the help of her growing Facebook community, Talley has given away car seats, hearing aids, and recently helped an inmate get back on his feet by giving him clothes, food, and a bike to get to his new job.

“He’s happy he working. He goes from 12 years incarcerated and now his family is communicating with him. He’s in a much better place in 60 days,” said Talley.

Lewis wanted to recognize Talley so she reached out to NBC12, rewarding her with $300 in cash and a $50 gift card to Mexico Restaurant.

Door to door, more than 120 miles separate these two women.

But through the power of social media, their willingness to give, and a heart for humanity, they’re making tangible change.

“I’m so happy to have met her. I’m so honored to be a part of what she’s doing and we just hope that we keep expanding,” said Lewis.

As for Talley, the work continues because she is acutely aware of the difficulties facing families across the area.

“It could’ve been me. I’m no different than anybody on the street. Most people, most homes are a couple of paychecks away. Thank God that I’m at a home that I’m comfortable in but anything can happen,” said Talley.

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