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Blue Ridge Area Food Bank School Food Drive raises 11,000 pounds of food

Published: Apr. 16, 2022 at 10:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank School Food Drive is making a big difference for families across Virginia. It collected the most donations in its 11 year history.

“We had our most successful drive ever, which was truly incredible,” student, Kat Ravichandran said.

18 days, 22 participating schools, more than 11,000 pounds of food, that’s how much students were able to raise for families in need. Ravichandran founded the Students Working Against Hunger club.

“Grocery store prices have been rising by 12% since the pandemic began, and obviously COVID benefits are waning. So, I think the opportunity for the schools, family, students, parents to come together has really been spectacular,” Ravichandran said.

Together with student coordinator Emily Warren, they organized donation bins for students to drop off nonperishable items.

“This year, we definitely got more schools involved that haven’t been involved in the past, but I think just continuing that outreach is something that’s going to be vital to the importance of the drive,” Warren said.

Across its 25 counties, the food bank serves about 110,00 people every month.

“That’s still about 50 to 60% higher than it was in the early 2000s. This is a problem that has grown. It hasn’t abated like we’ve seen years and years ago,” Blue Ridge Area Food Bank CEO, Michael McKee said.

Stone Robinson Elementary School donated more than 1,000 pounds of food.

“The school food drive over the course of the 11 years has resulted in about 85,000 pounds of food collected. That’s about 70,000 meals over that time period. That’s a huge achievement for an effort led by kids,” McKee said.

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