The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank’s 12th Annual School Food Drive begins today.
Donations are traditionally low during the spring, and pandemic SNAP benefits expired March 1 for many Virginians.
Twenty-seven local public and private schools and local YMCAs are participating this year, the most partners since 2016.
The drive runs through March 24.
Food collected from the food drive provides meals for nearly 21,000 local individuals and families.
This year’s effort is led by Albemarle High School students Emily Warren and Lily Stendig, who are looking to build on the success of last year’s drive, which collected 11,516 pounds of food, equal to 9,596 meals.
“It’s a huge honor to help lead this year’s School Food Drive and continue its tradition of serving those experiencing food insecurity,” Emily said. “This isn’t a problem that should only be left to adults to address. We have peers experiencing hunger, and we need to play a part in helping them and other families who are affected by food insecurity.”
Participating schools for the 2023 drive include:
- Greenbrier Elementary
- Jackson-Via Elementary
- Johnson Elementary
- Venable Elementary
- Buford Middle
- Charlottesville High
- Albemarle High School
- Charlottesville Waldorf School
- Crozet Elementary School
- Field School of Charlottesville
- Free Union Country School
- Hollymead Elementary School
- Journey Middle School
- Locust Grove Primary School
- Locust Grove Elementary School
- Greer Elementary School
- Monticello High School
- Murray Elementary School
- Ninos and Nature
- Peabody School
- Renaissance School
- Staunton Montessori School
- St. Anne’s Belfield School
- Stone-Robinson Elementary School
- Stony Point Elementary School
- Tandem Friends School
- *Charlottesville YMCA
“The School Food Drive underscores the impact our area’s youth can have in addressing food insecurity,” Brynna Strand, BRAFB volunteer and food drive coordinator, said. “It is incredibly inspiring to see their passion and generosity help thousands of families experiencing hunger throughout our region, year after year.”
Since 2011, the annual School Food Drive has collected 84,883 pounds of food, the equivalent of 69,967 meals.
Food Bank collection barrels are available at each participating school.