Food banks and pantries continue to see growing need in Charlottesville area

Food banks and pantries around the NBC29-viewing area are seeing more need.
Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 2:51 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Since SNAP benefits have new, post-pandemic requirements, many people who once qualified now don’t.

That means food banks and pantries around the NBC29-viewing area are seeing more need.

“We have 159 new families who have come to us for the first time since last March,” Gwen Goodkin with the Emergency Food Network said Monday, September 4.

EFN says it serves 30 households three times a week.

“We are hitting our limit more often than ever before,” Goodkin said.

“The need is increasing, there’s no question about that. We saw a significant increase: We’re up to 127,500 people per month being served through the Blue Ridge area,” Les Sinclair with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank said.

Sinclair says they’re getting fewer donations, causing BRAFB to go millions of dollars over budget to buy more food.

Despite this, he says families shouldn’t worry if they need help.

“We’re able to meet that demand, but we are definitely seeing a greater need with inflation and the reduction in SNAP benefits and Medicaid reintroductions, and stuff like that,” Sinclair said. “We know that people will help us meet the need, and it is important for folks to know that if they have a need, they should reach out to a partner pantry.”


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