ROANOKE, Va. – Money is tight for a lot of people because of the coronavirus, and affording food can be tough too. The Roanoke Rescue Mission is opening registration early for its annual Drumstick Dash fundraiser to provide meals to families in need.
Lunchtime looks a little different at the homeless shelter. Tuesday afternoon, one homeless man, Leonard Lafferty, picked up his meal to-go. Lafferty said affording food has always been tough, but especially now because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“My income is real low and it’s hard for me to get back and forth to stores," said Lafferty. "I ride a bicycle as you see. And this is the closest place for me to come.”
These to-go meals are just one of the new ways the homeless shelter is fighting hunger during the coronavirus outbreak.
'We’re actually seeing about 100 extra meals a day," said Kevin Berry, the shelter’s community outreach and marketing manager.
The shelter still provides housing and dining services to people staying at the shelter overnight. However, the shelter wanted to maintain social distancing, and decided to offer the to-go meals at lunch and dinner. The shelter also provides free meal boxes to the community on Saturdays.
“It’s typically used as a supplement to somebody’s bill that they can use,” Berry said. "Instead of spending it on food, they can, say, spend it on rent or other items.”
Due to the growing demand at the shelter to provide meals, the expenses have increased.