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Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in need of holiday donations

Struggles from the pandemic and the upcoming holiday season demands have resulted in empty shelves for the Peninsula Foodbank donation section.

HAMPTON, Va. — As the holidays come around the corner, so does the need for food in the community. 

However, a local food bank says it is seeing fewer donations this year than ever before.

As workers at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in Hampton take on a higher than the normal volume of people in need this year, they find themselves short of donations, and Thanksgiving right around the corner.

Chief Executive Officer Karen Joyner said the food bank is down on community donations by 30%.

"All that we have left is purchase food, which gets pretty expensive," said Joyner. "There's been a lot more phone calls. A lot more people can't afford to put a holiday dinner on their table."

Since the pandemic began, food banks across the nation have been seeing a higher demand from people in need. Combine that with food insecurities surrounding the holidays, and the burden on food banks doubles.

"What I fear is that if a lot of individuals are working from home instead of in their offices, there's not much of an opportunity for the corporate offices to run their food drives, so I expect that our food drives that we would normally get this time of year, may not occur," said Joyner.

Joyner says while they still have food in their warehouse, not all of it can be given away, and therefore, donations are needed now more than ever. 

If you would like to help, the Peninsula Foodbank is holding its annual Mayflower Marathon Food Drive the weekend of November 20-22.