GILES COUNTY, Va. – Shelves are stocked at the Giles County Christian Service Mission food pantry, but that's not always the case. Through Feeding America Southwest Virginia, the mission is now working on its USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program status to bring in more food and get it out to those in need.
“Feeding America opens a lot of doors. It's a great organization where we can purchase food at a reduced price, but in addition to that, it opens the doors to be able to access federal programs that are able to bring in more in the county,” says Rev. Morris Fleischer, mission board president.
“The Christian Service Mission right now can get donated food from us and different kinds of products there, but they can also apply to be a USDA program,” says Amanda Allen, with Feeding America.
The mission partnered with Feeding America Southwest Virginia earlier this year. Board members say the USDA food program is the next step on the ladder.
“It would really be an essential resource for groups to be able to feed into,” says Rev. Fleischer.
According to a Feeding America report, nearly 2,000 Giles County citizens are "food insecure." While the mission food pantry has made great strides in serving citizens, nearly 4,000 families last year to be exact, it's hoping to expand even further.
“It's hard to imagine because again, we're dreaming into this new space, the new potential that we have,” says Fleischer.
At the mission, board members are hoping to get in on federal food action, a first for the county and a step toward feeding more families.