Friday, Sept. 2 is National Food Bank Day. This is a great excuse to give back.
Southwest Virginia is filled with food banks that are in desperate need of help. Some of those include Feeding Southwest Virginia, Elliston Food Pantry, The Agape Center and the Salem Roanoke County Food Pantry.
Mickey Estienne the Executive Director for the Salem Roanoke County food pantry says the nonprofit is making it easier for the community to donate. They recently set up a drop box right outside their facility. This way, the community can come by any time of day and drop off non-perishable food.
“Right now our clients are up. We have clients that haven’t been here in a couple of years that are now having to return because times are tight. So our clients are up but our donations are down,” says Estienne.
The food pantry also helps provide items to local schools through their Snack Buddies Program. They partner with 20 elementary schools and 22 preschools in Roanoke to support needy children.
Estienne says, “I just can’t imagine a kid that could possibly come to school without breakfast, but to go from morning time to lunch without something. Being a grandfather of 6 and 1 on the way, I just can’t imagine my grandchildren going to school and not having snacks.”
Volunteers fill 76 snack bags with 100 snacks in them each month and the program runs 11 months out of the year.
This program cost the pantry $2,300 to run each month, so any sort of monetary donation is greatly appreciated.