Blue Ridge Area Food Bank sees surge in need, overwhelming support

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank sees surge in need, overwhelming support
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank sees increased need (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank says it is serving 15% more people than it normally does around this time of year due to COVID-19.

The food bank served more than 115,000 people in May alone. Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has spent more than $2.7 million for food and other services to meet the growing demand, as many of the people served since March are using the food bank for the first time.

“Many individuals tell us that they have been furloughed or they lost their jobs or they’ve had a significant reductions in the number of hours they’re working,” said Media and Communications Manager Abena Foreman-Trice.

Foreman-Trice said despite the growing need, the food bank is seeing an increase in community members giving their time to volunteers. The food bank was also awarded a $100,000 grant from Perdue Farms to establish two school pantries, or “Good Food School Markets” at Harrisonburg High School and at Broadway High School in Rockingham County.

“So as we respond to these needs, those resources that come from the community are a major help,” Foreman-Trice said.

Foreman-Trice said Blue Ridge Area Food Bank still needs as many volunteers and donations as they can get throughout the summer to continue curbside and mobile services. BRAFB is looking for more ways to get the word out to minority communities that may be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

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