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Food donations down 30% at Virginia Peninsula Foodbank

The Mayflower Marathon Holiday Food Drive, benefiting Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, will take place November 20 through November 22.

HAMPTON, Va. — The holidays are just around the corner and because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are struggling this season, including foodbanks.

Karen Joyner with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank says between April and September, food donations went down 30% over the same period of time last year.

"There's still a very fragile supply chain in this country," Joyner said.

The foodbank relies on donated food so its partner agencies can take it back into the community.

"When there are empty shelves on the grocery store, that means they don't have enough to donate to us," Joyner said.

Joyner says because the Foodbank expects to receive less government food after December 31, they have had to buy more food this year.

The bank has a critical cliff coming up. It also relies on government food and the agencies' supply of food through federal coronavirus food relief programs, which is going away after the new year.

"There's a great need right now, there's a lot of unemployed people," Joyner said.

According to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, one in seven Virginians across the greater peninsula area is struggling with food insecurity, and one in four is a child.

Fortunately, the foodbank's biggest food drive is coming up in two weeks. The Mayflower Marathon Food Drive is from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22.

"The foodbank and our partner agencies need the community's help to help those who don't have food for their Thanksgiving dinner," Joyner said.