Foodbank needs your support

Published 9:55 pm Tuesday, September 7, 2010

As hard as America’s recession has been on the average family, the nation’s nonprofit organizations have had things even worse for the past couple of years. Much as the working men and women in the United States have had to learn to do without, to cut corners and to stretch their resources as a result of stagnant pay, reduced hours, stock market losses, layoffs, furloughs, downsizing and company failures, nonprofit organizations around the country are trimming services and slashing expenses as they look for donations to pick up again.

Meanwhile, fewer people are served, and — on average — the amount of help they get from the charitable institutions is a fraction of what would have been offered a few short years ago.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia is a prime example of the downward spiral that many such organizations find themselves trying without success to escape. As more people find themselves unemployed — or even underemployed for their particular domestic situations — there is increasing pressure for the Foodbank to feed them. At the same time, however, the poor financial situations of so many of the people of Hampton Roads mean they are less likely to donate to the Foodbank, meaning there is less food to distribute amongst those who need it.

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The Foodbank is a warehouse or “bank” where recovered and contributed food is collected, sorted, and distributed to more than 325 partner agencies including church pantries, shelters, senior living centers and through the Child Nutrition and Mobile Pantry programs, which then disburse or prepare and serve the food to those in need.

When people don’t deposit enough food and money into the bank, however, there is not enough to distribute to the organizations that normally need it, which are, themselves, facing direr circumstances than they’ve seen in years.

On Saturday, Virginia’s Ruritan Clubs and AARP are getting together to try to help out. The groups are sponsoring a food drive in support of Virginia’s foodbanks, and they’re looking for individuals to join the effort. You can help by dropping off nonperishable food items (no glass) at collection centers around the city. Collections will take place at the Farm Fresh grocery stores on both ends of the city and at the Cypress Ruritan Club on Cypress Chapel Road.

Especially during the height of this recession, there’s a good chance that someone you know benefits from the work of the Southeastern Virginia Foodbank. Show your support for your neighbors and for the Foodbank by contributing a few cans on Saturday.