Albemarle County food pantry lacking meat donations during COVID-19

Loaves and Fishes lacks meat during COVID-19

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An Albemarle County food pantry is making ends meet the best it can when it comes to making sure the community is fed.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry has seen a decrease in the number of meat donations due to COVID-19. Meat donations have been down 70% over the past few weeks, but staff says they are thankful they still have food to give to the community.

"We’ve had a couple of clients say, I don’t want that chicken again,” Executive Director Jane Colony Mills said.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry has had less of a variety of meat to give to its clients. The food donations have been around the same as last year, but the meat donations have dropped significantly from grocers due to panic buying and closed meat processors.

“Fortunately, we're able to get meat right now from the USDA, which is the food we order through the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank,” Mills said.

Another resource, venison processors with hunters for the hungry have given away 5,500 pounds of meat. Staff says they just ran out.

“The hunter can take a certain number of dear during the season and if they don't need all of that meat then they can then donate it,” Mills said.

The has a couple of new programs to provide more food to pantries and food banks.

“We're looking to get some more food coming into that and hopefully meat, right now I know we have produce coming,” Mills said.

Although the meat options may be lacking, there's nothing lacking about these baskets full of food.

“We’re giving out about seven days of food for a household of four when we have larger households we’re giving more food,” said Colony Mills.

Families can come twice a month to the pantry since it’s running under the Disaster Food Program through the USDA. For times to pick up food, click here.

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