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Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Fights “Summer Slump” - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Fights “Summer Slump”

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The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is counting on your support to help tackle what has been called "the summer slump."

Dwindling donations after the holidays mean two upcoming initiatives to help families in need keep food on the table. Stamp Out Hunger will roll out this weekend to help feed families as area schools prepare for their breaks. The food bank is also concentrating on reaching children in high poverty areas.

Walking the aisles of the food bank is like looking at a calendar. The empty shelves are a good indication of what time of year it is.

"Well we're entering the summer slump. As school lets out, people leave town, they stop thinking about donating food to the food bank and donations go down considerably," said Joe Caputi, manager of the food bank's Charlottesville branch. 

That's why the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has been working on two programs that cater specifically to summer need - but differently. Its Summer Food Service Program is partnering with four sites in Charlottesville, including Abundant Life Ministries, to provide food for children in high-poverty areas. Last year, 50,000 snacks and meals were provided for kids in the city and the valley.

"And so they get at school generally two meals a day. They'll get some breakfast or they'll get lunch or both. If they're out of school they're not going to be receiving that food and so this is meant to fill a gap," Caputi said.

The other gap the food bank is trying to fill is for families. The Stamp Out Hunger drive returns this weekend, and the expectation is to get more than 100,000 pounds of food in Charlottesville.

"With the addition of the donations from the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive it's going to jump-start our summer, it's going to fill our shelves for a period of time, but unfortunately that may only be a few weeks," Caputi said.

The Stamp Out Hunger drive runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, in partnership with the main post office on Route 29. Volunteers are still needed. Click here to help.

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