SALEM, Va. – In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation is facing an economic crisis.
Food banks have been on the front lines of the economic fallout, making sure families have enough to eat.
On Thursday, donations from 10 News viewers to Food for Frontline fed dozens of staff and volunteers at Feeding Southwest Virginia.
They have faced lots of changes in the past two months. Lines of cars at pop-up food distributions are proof just how great the need is in the community.
“We had more food going out the door than we had coming in, so that almost immediately put us in March in a crisis situation,” said Pamela Irvine, President and CEO of Feeding Southwest Virginia.
The nonprofit has handed out boxes and gift cards to help feed an increased number of families.
“Food by truck, food by trunk, food by gift cards and food by meals delivered,” said Irvine.
Thursday, they were on the receiving end.
Food for Frontline donations picked up the tab on nearly 60 lunches delivered from Canale’s Ham and BBQ.
"This is huge for us. We appreciate it so much. This starts us out today as our best day in three weeks, so it's super,” said George Canale, owner of Canale’s.
With sales down 40%, the Food for Frontline effort to support restaurants and essential workers has been helpful.
“At first we were like, ‘Ah man, they ought to be feeding somebody else,’” said Irvine.
That’s a surprising answer from those who have worked around the clock to fill the food bank warehouse.
After thinking about, Irvine and others graciously accepted the meal.
“To be able to show appreciation from WSLS and these companies and the donors raising money lets us know that we’re important too, because we forget that in our work. We focus so much on helping others and this enables us to stop for a moment and to know that people appreciate us,” Irvine said.