Food bank needs your help to get through rough patch

Item by Chris Graham

Rising food and fuel prices are pushing more people to food banks and food pantries.

Food distribution in the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network was up 25 percent in March over the same period last year. And through the end of the first quarter of 2008, the local food bank had distributed an additional 860,000 pounds of food to needy people in the Shenandoah Valley and 1.6 million extra pounds of food network-wide.

And that’s not the bad news. The slumping economy has slowed cash donations to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network. The network did not meet its fundraising goal for the month of April.

“We’ve entered this perfect storm scenario,” food bank CEO Marty White said. “We’re seeing situations that have never existed in the history of this organization. The demand, the stress on the middle class and the inflation of the economy have created a set of circumstances that makes it very difficult for the working poor to make ends meet. We really need the help now more than ever before.”

Learn more about how you can help the food bank continue in its efforts to provide help to needy families in the Valley and Central Virginia at

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