It is a time of great hunger and difficulties for the poor and middle class in our community with the rising costs of energy, housing, and food. Our local food banks have been seeing a rise in the demand for food from Charlottesville and surrounding areas.
The cost of food have driven many to ask our local food banks for more to feed their families. Corn has soared 52% the past 12 months. Sugar’s up 60%. Soybeans have jumped 41%. And wheat costs 24% more than it did a year ago.
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank currently serves 145,000 people in our area each year. Right now, one in ten people in our community do not know where they will get their next meal. The Blue Ridge Area Food bank did a detailed study in 2010 and found the following:
• 43% of the members of households served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc are children under 18 years old.
• 11% of the members of households are children age 0 to 5 years.
• 7% of the members of households are elderly.
• About 68% of clients are non-Hispanic white, 24% are non-Hispanic black, 5% are Hispanic, and the rest are from other racial groups.
• 43% of households include at least one employed adult.
• 74% have incomes below the federal poverty level.
• 6% are homeless.
On the weekend of June 18-19, at local area grocery stores, The Church of the Incarnation in cooperation with area volunteers and Boy Scouts, helped collect over 12,ooo pounds of food and over $3,000 for the Emergency Food Bank and the parish food ministry. This represents 20% of the food distributed in a year from the Emergency Food Bank who provides a 3-day supply of nutritional meals to individuals and families in need. The Emergency Food Bank provides meals to the Bright Stars children’s program as well as the PACEM program for the homeless. A big thanks goes to Patrick Cottrell and his family who helped organize this food drive.
The Church of the Incarnation started a Food Assistance Program to help serve Hispanic families, and is now going to expand this program to anyone in need. This is a wonderful program that is supported by donations from individuals and local farmers who help supply produce, groceries, and funding. If you are interested in volunteering or donating to this program, or know someone in need, please contact the Coordinator for Justice and Charity, Kristen Schenk at (434) 973-4381.
NBC produced an informative report about childhood hunger following is Part 1 of 3 of this report:
Please consider helping our local food banks through your kind donations of time, money, and prayers. Any contribution you make can be a BIG help: