New River Valley groups tackle food insecurity ahead of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving made possible through the generosity of others

For weeks, Pulaski County Public Schools have been taking up donations from across the county to help families have a Thanksgiving meal.

“Today is our distribution day, families are pulling through 8 [a.m.] to 5 [p.m.] to pick up their donations,” said Tony Viers, Principal of Pulaski Elementary School and organizer for donations.

Viers said they are helping 190 families.

Pulaski County High School junior Gavin Lytton said this is his first year participating.

“It’s made me feel good that I’ve been able to know that I’ve helped and just knowing that some of these families are going to be happier now,” Lytton said.

Viers said this is an example of how the Pulaski community takes care of one another.

“Pulaski County is always going to help anyone in need,” said Viers. “They’re going to come out for anything they can and help others and if they’re able to help out they will.”

The Thanksgiving spirit extends throughout the New River Valley.

The Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry is supplying meals to qualifying families.

“We currently serve about 375 families,” said Andrea Muscatello, director of the food pantry. “I think we’ll reach that number this month. It’s double what it was last year.”

She said that’s well over 1,000 and over 300 children, and due to the increase in families in need, donations help more than ever.

“If we can’t bridge that gap then we will have to reduce the amount of food they we give out, but people aren’t going to be less hungry,” Muscatello said.

Each family for both organizations will receive a bag of Thanksgiving supplies and a turkey.

About the Author:

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.