Valley News: Food Bank benefits from ‘Idol Gives Back’
Item by Chris Graham
As much as many of us can’t stand the TV show “American Idol,” there’s a reason to thank Simon and Paula and Randy and Ryan and the crooners. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network announced yesterday that it has received a $100,000 grant to fight child hunger in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia through a program that benefited from a two-night “American Idol” fund-raising special earlier this year.
“We are extremely grateful for this support of our work feeding hungry children,” said Marty White, CEO of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network. “Each year, approximately 49,000 children receive food through our organization. This grant will help the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network and other food banks across the country continue to ensure that these children do not go to bed hungry or wondering where their next meal will come from.”
The grant will allow the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network to provide wholesome take-home snacks on a daily basis to 543 preschool age children who are food insecure in Augusta, Bath, Highland and Rockbridge counties, and the cities of Lynchburg, Staunton and Waynesboro. In addition, the Food Bank will provide 164 children in Staunton and Waynesboro with five dinners per week to be distributed on a weekly and daily schedule.
The grant money will be used to fund Operation Angel Food, a collaborative effort between the food bank, Head Start and the Virginia Preschool Initiative to ensure that children between the ages of 3 and 5 have access to nutritious foods.