Local hunger relief programs need your vote

food-bank-219x300The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and two of its members (or partner agencies) are competing for a total of $85,000 in grant funding through Walmart’s nationwide Fighting Hunger Together campaign. The two Food Bank members competing for the grant include Hope Distributed, a food pantry in Harrisonburg, and Campus Kitchens, a food distribution program in Lexington. All of the grant funding will support their child hunger-relief programs.

Walmart will award a total of 100 grants – or $3 million – nationwide.

  • 40 grants of $45,000 each will be made to Feeding America Food Bank members (like BRAFB)
  • 60 grants of $20,000 each will be made to Food Bank member agencies (like Hope Distributed and Campus Kitchens)

The competition began yesterday, April 1 and runs through April 30. It is driven by votes cast through Facebook. Members of the community can vote once per day over the course of 30 days through their personal Facebook page for the agency of their choice. The agencies garnering the most votes will be awarded the grant funding.

– The BRAFB is competing for $45,000 to support 14 BackPack Program sites in the Central Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Loudoun, the Thomas Jefferson area, including Albemarle, Fluvanna and Charlottesville, and the Lynchburg area, including Campbell County. Through this program, the Food Bank provides nourishing meals and snacks to children at risk of hunger every weekend and during school vacations, when they don’t have access to school meals. View a short video about one BackPack site here

Campus Kitchens in Lexington is seeking $20,000 for their backpack program as well.

– Hope Distributed in Harrisonburg is competing for $20,000 to support Hope for Kids, a program similar to the BackPack Program through which the agency provides food boxes to children and their families several times each year before a school vacation. The funds would help them expand the program to more schools in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. View a short video about the program here.

Funding for child hunger programs is especially critical given the significant need that exists. In the 25 counties and nine cities serviced by the Food Bank, there are an estimated 60,000 children who struggle with hunger.

Here’s how to vote for each of these agencies. Please note that all voting is done through one’s Facebook account and only one vote can be cast per day. Anyone wishing to support all three agencies must vote for a different agency each day.

– BRAFB: Visit www.facebook.com/blueridgeareafoodbank and go to events to click on the voting link. Hope Distributed: Visit www.facebook.com/hopedistributedcdc and go to events to click on the voting link.

– Campus Kitchens: Visit www.facebook.com/CampusKitchenWL and find their voting link on their wall.


About the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

Founded in 1981, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is the largest organization alleviating hunger in western and central Virginia. Headquartered in Verona, VA, the Food Bank serves 25 counties and nine cities through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester and Verona. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank distributes more than 20 million pounds of food annually to 120,000 people each month through a network of 250 community members – food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, schools, churches and other non-profit groups. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, a national food bank association that supports more than 200 food banks across the United States. For more information, visit www.brafb.org

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