Food security: Saturday event offers assistance to families

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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In an effort to fight against hunger in the city, the FoodBank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore partnered with the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority for a Saturday morning food distribution event.

Volunteers along with SRHA and city officials such as Council Members John Rector and Leroy Bennett gathered at the authority’s main office March 4 to provide food to Suffolk residents in need of food security. 

FoodBank Western Tidewater Branch Manager and Procurement Food Sourcer Clifford Hedgspeth Sr. explained how the event started from OPA funding for the city and how they hope to aid the city.

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“Suffolk paid money for us to feed the food and secure people in this area, and this is our first mass distribution. We’re feeding 500 households today,” Hedgspeth spoke of the event. “We’re trying to close the meal gap for the food insecurity population. The population is very high in [the] Suffolk area and we’re here to make sure that everyone has food to eat, and not only food, but healthy food.”

When asked about the discontinuation of SNAP’s additional pandemic benefits, Hedgspeth affirmed that FoodBank would continue to have events in Suffolk to help those in need, also mentioning the other distribution centers available.

“Absolutely, and this is not the only distribution site that we have,” he said. “We have distribution sites spread all over Western Tidewater — from Sussex, all the way through Franklin, and even in the City of Suffolk we have several distribution sites, we have mobile pantries.

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