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BRAFB working around the clock to serve thousands in central Virginia

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 3:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - NBC29 is teaming up with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to lend a hand to the hungry.

Thanks to volunteers and community partners, shelves at BRAFB’s warehouse are stocked, and will help to feed thousands of people around central Virginia.

“It really takes a village. It takes a whole community in times of need, and we’re really lucky that people in the greater-Charlottesville area and throughout our service area really stepped up both in terms of volunteer hours, but also food and financial donations,” BRAFB Partner Engagement Manager Joe Kreiter said.

Last year, BRAFB purchased 6.5 million pounds of food to serve more than 125,000 people per month during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. That resulted in a 13% increase from 2019.

“Our doors were always open. Our partners were always open, and credit to them because they kept it going. They really pushed and kept pushing even when all the odds were stacked against them,” Kreiter said.

Even as the country begins to open back up, food insecurity is still a major problem om central Virginia.

“Hunger isn’t going anywhere. As some of the federal benefits and people exhaust what support they have right now, there is going to be increased need for food again,” Kreiter said. “We’re going to need people out there on the frontlines - either at pantries, helping with distributions, spreading messages within the community, donating food or money.”

As summer kicks off, bringing food in and out of the BRAFB warehouse is going to save many lives.

“A lot of what we see around us right now on the shelves come from the USDA through the TEFAP program, but we receive donations from the community through community food drives. We purchase a lot of our own food. We receive donations from a lot of our corporate partners, and other local businesses,” Kreiter said.

BRAFB is asking folks to donate anything that is nutritious and delicious.

“We don’t just want anything that’s been hanging out at the back of your pantry. Think about what do you want to be serving to your family,” Kreiter said.

If you have any food that you would like to donate, you can come to the front door of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, walk inside, and let them know you have supplies to give.

Click here to donate online.

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