Roanoke, Virginia – Food banks hope to see more people using their services this year, but there’s a problem…many shelves are empty.
Supplying Southwest Virginia serves 26 counties statewide. Her CEO and president, Pamela Irvine, is concerned about limited food supplies.
“There are a lot of empty shelves. There was food on the shelves and in the aisles last year. It’s a very thorny problem,” Irvine said.
One reason many shelves are empty is that food banks are getting less and less donated.
“Donors across the country are reducing their donations across the country, and we know retail and other food industries are suffering costs as well.
Hunger Free America recently released a report discussing hunger across the country. According to the report, from October 2021 to October 2022, the number of underfed people in Virginia increased by 50%.
Virginia as a whole has one of the lowest food insecurity rates in the United States at 7.4%. But in the counties that feed southwest Virginia, 16% of people have no food security, and as many as 19%.
Some food banks are currently not showing empty shelves. The Lynchburg Daily Bread says he’s serving an average of 300 meals a day, and even when numbers go up during the holidays, they’re still in stock.
“As we enter the new year, we are still going strong,” said Ansley Bean, Development Specialist at Lynchburg Daily Bread.
Emergency SNAP benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic will end in February unless extended.
“There will be more and more needs going forward. Granted, it’s not a lot of resources, but we had additional resources during COVID. said.
Food banks, like many other organizations, see the same equation. Demand is high, but resources are limited.
“There is a need. We are facing a food crisis. Not just for our country and our neighbors, but for organizations like Feeding Southwest Virginia,” Irvine said.
Both Feeding Southwest Virginia and Lynchburg Daily Bread are accepting monetary donations and need more canned fruits and vegetables.
You can donate to feed Southwest Virginia online here, and you can donate online to the Lynchburg Daily Bread.
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