VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Judeo-Christian Outreach Center in Virginia Beach said 100 additional families showed up in January in need of food assistance.
Officials with the organization said that was on top of the already-growing rate of families struggling with food insecurity.
The coronavirus pandemic not only took a toll on households, but it also forced the charity group to close down its Family Boxed Meal Program. In February, the organization brought it back, after noticing the recent spike.
"We're really excited we can open it back up again for the community today," said JCOC Development Director, Kristin Ward.
She said it had been tough seeing families struggle to get food after this past year.
"Now they have to choose between rent, or paying their mortgage, or buying food," explained Ward. "Well, what are you going to do if you have children? You're going to get them food."
The Family Boxed Food Program does have some eligibility restrictions.
Parents who have children under the age of 18 can sign up for an appointment through a phone call to get boxes of food: both non-perishable items and refrigerated meat to bring home for your family.
Ward said the non-perishable items were donated by the community, and the refrigerated meat is an effort made by the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.
Ward said they are open every Thursday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., but would expand if more people sign up.