Local food banks are in a bad way, Scott Shenk writes in today’s Daily Progress, facing strong increases in demand with corresponding increases in donations. Both the Emergency Food Bank and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank report increases of 200-300% over this time last year, forcing them to cut off supplies to needy families. Things are toughest in the summer, since kids don’t have access to the daily subsidized breakfasts and lunches that they do during the school year. The need, of course, is for more people to donate food.
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, which covers about a third of Virginia, gets a lot of their food from grocery stores, while the church-run Emergency Food Bank relies heavily on individual donations and canned food drives. I called and asked a few months ago, and the BRAFB isn’t really keen on people just showing up with food, but you can contribute at area grocery stores. [Update: The BRAFB says you’re welcome to bring food to them, too, despite what they told me.] I’m partial to the Emergency Food Bank, who is thrilled to have people arrange to come by with a sack or two of canned soups, boxes of cereal, tins of tuna, etc.—e-mail them to arrange a contribution, if you’re able to help.