Food bank needs help to get through rough patch

Item by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has “never seen anything like this before,” said Marty White, the CEO of the local food bank network, which served more than 68,000 people in June, emptying shelves of donated foods.

“We’re seeing individuals we’ve not seen before,” White said. “This economy is affecting the working poor and the middle class. At some of our branches, walk-in requests for food are extremely high. It’s a period of high need, and we really need everyone’s help to try and meet the demand.”

Also contributing to the shortage at the food bank network, according to White, are a dwindling amount of food donations from grocery manufacturers and a reduction in the amount of USDA commodities being made available to food banks.

The food bank is trying to organize its food-collection efforts around monthly themes to help donors know what foodstuffs are needed when. The theme for August is Canned Meats. September, October and November are Turkey months, with December and January being designated Soups months.

To learn how you can help and for more information, call (800) 296-FOOD (3663) or visit www.brafb.org.


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