The holiday season is a time when many people are feeling more charitable, and as the weather drops, the need for food assistance tends to go up.
Food costs are especially difficult during this time of year when holiday activities demand more time and money. The colder weather also adds to the financial burden, by requiring more money to go towards things like the heating bill, leaving less for the grocery bills. These are all reasons why the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is gearing up for the giving season.
The food bank serves 120,000 people per month, and even with that staggering statistic, food bank workers say the need escalates every year. They're serving 60% more people now than this time last year. Those at the Food Bank are hopeful that the holiday spirit will inspire many to donate.
"We see people really respond to the need during the holiday, it's the season of giving, people are getting excited about the opportunity to volunteer, donate food, help out when they can, and we're really grateful for that," said Michael McKee, the chief planning and philanthropy officer for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
The Boy Scouts are helping the food bank by hosting a food drive Saturday across Central Virginia. Last year they collected 100 pounds of food, and organizers are hoping to surpass that this year.
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is in particular need of high protein foods like peanut butter and canned meats. Being that it's the holiday season, they're also looking for Thanksgiving food items like canned vegetables, yams, and cranberry sauce.
If you'd like to donate to the Boy Scouts food drive, leave nonperishable food items by your mailbox or on your front porch Friday night or early Saturday morning.
While the holiday season is a particular time of need, the food bank stresses that volunteers and donations are needed all year round. Click here to find out more about how you can help.