Home Verona, Charlottesville food banks receive $15K each from UVA Health

Verona, Charlottesville food banks receive $15K each from UVA Health

food insecurity
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UVA Health has donated $15,000 each to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry for a combined total of $30,000 toward helping members of the community who are food insecure.

The donation celebrates National Doctors’ Day and honors UVA’s physicians for their outstanding care and service.

“Our physicians are committed to serving others across Virginia and beyond through our missions of patient care, research and educating the next generation of doctors,” Dr. K. Craig Kent, chief executive officer of UVA Health and executive vice president for health affairs at UVA, said. “These gifts will help support the work of our local food bank and a local food pantry that are just as passionate about helping community members in need.”

Headquartered in Verona, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank receives an average of 153,000 guest visits per month, and serves 25 counties and eight cities in western and central Virginia through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester and Verona and a network of 400 community partners across the region.

“UVA Health and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank are long-time partners, in many forms, working together to improve the health of our region,” Karen Ratzlaff, chief philanthropy officer for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, said. “Healthy nutrition is a foundation for good health. That’s why we are so grateful to be the recipient of this year’s donation in honor of National Doctor’s Day! While honoring the physicians who care for our neighbors, you are also providing 60,000 meals to local families.”

Based in Charlottesville, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry serves more than 7,000 people from Charlottesville, Albemarle and all surrounding counties each month, including people from far-reaching locations who are at UVA Health for medical care. Loaves & Fishes customizes at least a week’s worth of groceries to any dietary preferences or restrictions for each visiting household, accompanied by recipes and food samples provided by the food pantry’s registered dietitian. Loaves & Fishes partners with the UVA Health Stroke Clinic, UVA Cancer Center, the Latino Health Initiative and the Food Insecurity Resource Group to provide education on wellness and other support resources in the community.

“It is an honor to be recognized by UVA Health as part of National Doctors’ Day,” Jane Colony Mills, executive director of Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, said. “This donation makes it possible for Loaves & Fishes to continue carrying out our mission of providing culturally relevant, fresh and free groceries for anyone who visits the pantry; purchase milk, eggs and fresh produce, foods we don’t get in large enough quantities through our regular donation channels; and employ staff who speak Spanish, Dari, Farsi and Arabic to make seeking assistance less difficult for speakers of other languages.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.