The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted the health and well-being of individuals across the globe. In many instances, problems that existed before the pandemic have only been exacerbated, including the issues of hunger and food insecurity.
According to Feeding America, a nationwide network of over 200 food banks, more than 35 million people in the United States struggled with hunger in 2019. However, that number has exploded since the pandemic began, with over 50 million individuals projected to experience food insecurity.
What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life.
Many people struggling with hunger and food insecurity rely on the assistance of local food banks, which work collaboratively to distribute food to those in need. During the current pandemic, the need for that assistance has been even greater and one of the organizations in the Hampton Roads area to fill that role is the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.
Serving the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, James City, Mathews, Surry and York, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank was chosen as the focus of last month’s “Networking with Nonprofits” virtual event. In partnering with the Foodbank, the ODU Alumni Association shined a light on one of the region’s strongest allies in reducing food insecurity.
While local need has grown, there has been a decrease in food donations over the past year. However, the Foodbank received a much-needed boost with its Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Food Drive held on January 18. After setting a goal of providing 25,000 meals during this year’s food drive, donations amounted to nearly 61,000 meals, more than double the previous record. The need for assistance continues, particularly in the spring and summer when donations begin to dwindle.
For more information on how you can help, click on the image below.