Local, national organizations team up to shine light on food insecurity in Southwest Virginia
With school out, many children in the area are now wondering where they’ll be getting their next meal. But organizations like Feeding Southwest Virginia and Hunger Free America are working to help thousands of families with that problem.
Feeding Southwest Virginia marks 40th anniversary fighting food insecurity
Feeding Southwest Virginia has been a lifeline to many, especially this past year with the pandemic. Feeding Southwest Virginia president Pamela Irvine said it’s hard to believe they’ve been at it for 40 years. It’s hard to pick one defining moment, but when things go south Feeding Southwest Virginia is always there to help make sure no one goes hungry. Show creator Michael Hemphill made the request to light the tower and said featuring Feeding Southwest Virginia in the show is a no-brainer. While Irvine can’t predict the future, she does know Feeding Southwest Virginia will continue to be needed.
FarmBurguesa, Feeding Southwest Virginia team up to feed hundreds of kids
ROANOKE, Va. – Hundreds of kids in the Roanoke Valley will go to bed with full stomachs Tuesday. FarmBurguesa and Feeding Southwest Virginia handed out burgers, turkeys and groceries to 250 kids today at the Community Solutions Center on Melrose Avenue. Feeding Southwest Virginia CEO Pamela Irvine said the coronavirus pandemic has made people more generous than ever before. “We’ve seen that generosity increase because people relate to the fact that I may not have something to eat today, whether I can afford to buy it and it’s not available or I can not afford to buy it and I just have no other resources,” explained Irvine. The center typically provides food for kids on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Feeding Southwest Virginia donates food to hundreds ahead of the holidays
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va – In a year where record-breaking unemployment has caused increased food insecurity in the United States, food banks have been working to meet the demand. On Friday, Feeding Southwest Virginia provided hundreds of people with food before the holidays at Belmont Christian Church in Christiansburg“Our tractor-trailer carries around 20,000 pounds of food, so we usually prepare for anywhere between 300-900 boxes to distribute,” said Feeding Southwest Virginia President Pamela Irvine. Friday Feeding Southwest Virginia held a food distribution at Belmont Christian Church in Christiansburg to provide hundreds of people with food before the holidays. About 40% of Feeding Southwest Virginia’s budget is from the government and the possibility of funding soon running out is on the minds of many. The next food distribution event will be in Martinsville on December 29.
What’s News Today: food distribution, flu shots
Feeding Southwest Virginia will open a Pop-up Mobile Food Distribution site today in Franklin County. The Roanoke and Alleghany Health Districts hold a drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic today. The New River Health District holds drive-thru flu shot clinics today. Tomorrow, the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District holds a flu vaccine clinic from 8 a.m. to noon at the Danville Community Market. It will hold a drive-thru appreciation event today at the school from noon to 1 p.m.
Donation from church will create 150,000 meals for hungry people across Southwest Virginia
SALEM, Va. – A generous donation given on Thursday will help give over 100,000 meals to people in need across Southwest Virginia. Feeding Southwest Virginia received a donation of 20,000 pounds of food from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which marks the third donation from the church this year alone. From this year’s donations, the organization can create 150,000 meals with completely non-perishable foods. According to Feeding Southwest’s CEO, the non-profit is able to use the food to target areas where more than 10% of people are unemployed. So far this year, Feeding Southwest has done 16 pop-up distribution centers this year.
Hundreds of families receive food at mobile distribution drive
ROANOKE, Va. – More than 400 families have food on their tables thanks to a local drive-thru distribution. It was the second of two events organized by Feeding Southwest Virginia and Wells Fargo to help those in need. We also have fresh produce and other supplies that we’re using to supplement that,” said Lisa Uhl, director of marking and communications for Feeding Southwest Virginia. “I am really thankful that they’re doing this because it is really helping the families,” said Iris King, who appreciated the gifted groceries. “And with people going through the pandemic right now, people are in need!”Feeding Southwest Virginia pulled off the pull-up event thanks to a national grant from Wells Fargo.
Drive-by food pantry feeds hundreds of Roanoke families
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Rain or shine, a local nonprofit and a group of volunteers' were determined to help feed hungry families on Friday in Roanoke. Feeding Southwest Virginia hosted a drive-by food pantry distribution in Roanoke County thanks to a $22,000 grant from Wells Fargo. Hundreds of people, including Maurice Stimeson, waited in line to get boxes of fresh produce, emergency meals and non-perishable food staples. “A box of food and fresh fruits and vegetables always brings a smile," said Irvine. There will be another drive-by food pantry on Friday, Oct. 2.
What’s News Today: Flu shot clinic, community beautification
The Child Advocacy Center of the New River Valley is holding an open house today. The New River Valley Health District is holding a free, drive-thru flu vaccine clinic today. People will gather at 9 a.m. across from Kennedy Park for National Roanoke Community Beautification Day. Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. today at the Wells Fargo Corporate Office on Plantation Road in Roanoke, there’s a drive-thru distribution. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine will hold a virtual discussion today, highlighting Latinos in Virginia.
Whats News Today: Drive-in movie, softball
The Williamson Road Area Business Association will hold a pop-up Community Drive-in tonight. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with the movie starting at dusk. Feeding Southwest Virginia and Convoy of Hope are teaming up to make sure people in the Highlands have the food they need. Feeding Southwest Virginia will provide fresh produce. Feeding America designated Clifton Forge a high need area, which allows Feeding Southwest to use the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to help out.
No-contact farmers market teaching kids about healthy eating
ROANOKE, Va. – Feeding Southwest Virginia hosted a kid’s farmers market to teach kids about healthy food and budgeting. Feeding Southwest Virginia is holding no-contact kids' farmer's markets during COVID-19 to put fresh produce in the hands of local children in need. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year things are a little different: the farmers market is no-contact. “It’s great to provide joy in times like this where people are struggling so much,” said Pamela Irvine, the president of Feeding Southwest Virginia. “It’s just good to have a little bit of fun with children and use food as an opportunity to do that.”To learn about future kid’s farmer’s markets, visit Feeding Southwest Virginia’s Facebook page.
Heres how you reading can help feed families in Southwest Virginia
ROANOKE, Va. This summer may look a bit different, but that doesnt mean you should stop learning. Thats why the Roanoke County Public Library has created a 15,000 book challenge. The library began the summer with a goal of 3,000 books, but in June alone, people read 6,000 books. Once that goal is reached, Friends of the Roanoke County Public Library will donate $1,000 to Feeding Southwest Virginia. To complete the program and earn a prize, you only need to read three books!
Dads create Fathers Day fundraiser to help Feeding Southwest Virginia.
SALEM, Va. For Fathers Day this year, some dads are teaming up with a Salem brewery to raise money for Feeding Southwest Virginia. Originally, for every four-pack of beer bought from Olde Salem Brewing Company between Thursday and Sunday the group of dads planned to donate $3 to the food bank. Head Brewer Kevin Campbell said hes never done anything like this before but hes happy to help. We were going to invite them in and brew beer for Fathers Day, but with the pandemic going on we couldnt do that. If 150 four-packs are bought by Sunday, the dads will donate and extra $50.
Feeding Southwest Virginia puts out urgent call for volunteers
ROANOKE, Va. – Feeding Southwest Virginia needs at least a dozen people to help assemble hundreds of food boxes for families in need. A volunteer works at the Feeding Southwest Virginia Salem Distribution Center. Feeding Southwest Virginia said that it’s getting more and more donations, but with summer on the way, the need for food will only go up. It makes such a difference,” said Pamela Irvine, the president and CEO of Feeding Southwest Virginia. To learn about volunteer opportunities with Feeding Southwest Virginia, click here.
'Community through art: Taubman Museum launches outreach program to distribute art kits, meals
ROANOKE, Va. The Taubman Museum of Arts doors may be closed, but theyre still finding ways to share art with the community in launching a new outreach program called Brush Pals. Brush Pals provides weekly art kits for children served through Feeding Southwest Virginia. On Monday, the first round of art kits were distributed along with meals for those at the Community Solutions Center on Melrose Avenue. Going forward, Brush Pals will also be distributed to the Rescue Mission and various retirement centers. The Taubman hopes to impact 20,000 people throughout southwest Virginia through the end of August.
Church donates 80,000 pounds of food to Feeding Southwest Virginia
SALEM, Va. – Feeding Southwest Virginia received a massive donation of food from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church donated 80,000 pounds of food to the food bank. The first half of that donation was delivered to the food bank in Salem on Thursday, including items like spaghetti, green beans and beef stew. The food bank provides meals to pantries throughout the region. “We don’t want anyone to have to go without food, so this is a blessing to us because this will allow us to restock the food pantries," said Kitty Tabor, the food resourcing manager at Feeding Southwest Virginia.
Local artist donates portion of art sales to Feeding Southwest Virginia
ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke artist is using her talents to help others during this trying time. Maggie Perrin-Key has raised more than $1,000 for Feeding Southwest Virginia. For the last week, she’s set aside half of the sales from paintings she’s sold. It all started after she worried about her own situation, but realized there are others out there with less. She said she’s glad her abstract art can serve a higher purpose.
Feeding Southwest Virginia mobilizes, hands out enough food to feed 1,000
BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Virginia saw more than 100,000 new unemployment claims just last week alone. That’s part of the reason Feeding Southwest Virginia took its services on the road with its mobile pantry. On Friday, the organization passed out enough family boxes at Lord Botetourt High School to feed 1,000 people. “With the unemployment increasing, a lot of people that normally have not been hungry or food insecure are finding themselves in a position where they are looking for things to supplement,” said Lisa Uhl, the director of communications for Feeding Southwest Virginia. Feeding Southwest Virginia was at a critical shortage two weeks ago.
Coronavirus situation creates urgent need for food at Feeding Southwest Virginia
SALEM, Va. – Feeding Southwest Virginia receives up to 12 truck loads of food a week to restock its warehouse, but because of the coronavirus that number was down to six Wednesday and there was no guarantee the number wouldn’t go down even more. For food banks like God’s Storehouse in Danville that rely heavily on Feeding Southwest Virginia, the lack of food is very concerning, knowing demand for food is increasing with kids out of school and many adults out of work. “We’re seeing a lot of our regular customers coming in, and we are also seeing people that have not not been to us for several years," God’s Storehouse Executive Director Karen Harris said. Demand may only increase further, as lawmakers in Washington work to remove requirements to qualify for certain government-provided food. The best way to help out Feeding Southwest Virginia or God’s Storehouse is a monetary donation.
Volunteers step up for Feeding Southwest Virginia
SALEM, Va. – Local volunteers are stepping up to help out families in need. On Monday, some members of the WSLS 10 team volunteered at Feeding Southwest Virginia in Salem. Since 10 News reported last week that the organization was in desperate need of volunteers, efforts have skyrocketed. More than twice the number of volunteers signed up to fill out February compared to the average month. Anyone who wants to volunteer to help get food to families in need can contact Feeding Southwest Virginia.
‘We want to give back’: Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs volunteer at local food bank
SALEM, Va. – Some local athletes are taking a timeout to give back to their community. Members of the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs hockey team were volunteering at Feeding Southwest Virginia Wednesday afternoon. They cleaned and sorted items in the food bank. They had planned to do this last fall as a follow up to a food drive they held, but their schedules didn’t work out. “We realize how lucky we are to live our dream and do what we love to do every day.
‘Desperate’ shortage of volunteers at Feeding Southwest Virginia
SALEM, Va. – It’s not unusual for things to be slow this time of year at Feeding Southwest Virginia. “Moving into February, we’re not seeing the increase in volunteers we normally see and we need volunteers desperately," president and CEO Pamela Irvine said. Both Irvine and van Guilder look at the warehouse full of boxes and worry about the people who are not receiving it. But van Guilder says it’s easily doable – if they get some help. If you would like to volunteer, contact Feeding Southwest Virginia (Formerly Feeding America Southwest Virginia) at (540) 342-3011.