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Thanks to food banks, workers

One positive thing that has come out of the current pandemic is that so many community heroes are finally getting the praise and recognition due them for their courage and hard work.

People like nurses, doctors and others in the health care field, firefighters and police officers, scientists and public health workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers and others are the people who truly keep our society going each and every day. All of these people are on the “front lines” of the fight against the novel coronavirus that is ravaging our world and upending our society.

Also on that list? People who serve those most in need in our community, such as homeless shelter workers and foodbank workers. These people are making sure these vulnerable populations do not become more endangered by the virus and the societal changes it is causing.

Reporter Jimmy LaRoue highlighted some of these people and the ways they’re serving those in need in a story in Sunday’s paper. Read the story here. They have had to change the way they’re serving, but they are still working on meeting the needs.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, for example, has partnered with YMCA locations, including the Suffolk Family YMCA and the James L. Camp Jr. Family YMCA in Franklin, to serve people in a drive-through distribution. Foodbank President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols said the increasing need has been acute at the Suffolk and Franklin sites, with incremental increases each time.

They have still managed to serve nearly 5,000 households and counting.

Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center on East Washington Street has also changed its services to allow only two people inside at a time. Lorna Slaughter also said she has seen an increase of people coming in the door since mid-February.

Both organizations say they’re having trouble acquiring food through their usual avenues, and the cost to acquire food has risen. So, if you’re able to give, a donation to your favorite local organization that serves the poor would be an excellent way to support your community during this crisis.

We thank all of those who are on the front lines caring for people, working on cures and vaccines for the virus and doing all of the necessary things that keep our society running. You are legendary.