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Rising need for volunteers at Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore

Since the pandemic, the food bank has seen an overwhelming increase in people coming to collect food donations, many of whom are doing it for the first time.

NORFOLK, Va. — The coronavirus pandemic is causing a wave of food insecurity. Many families are needing help finding food. That is where the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore comes in.

Workers and volunteers are working seven days a week to keep up with the demand.

 “I think so many people here at the Foodbank feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility when it comes to meeting the needs of children and low-income families,” explained president and CEO, Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols.

Since the pandemic, she said the food bank has seen an overwhelming increase in people needing support. Jones Nichols says since the launch of their COVID-19 response effort, workers and volunteers have distributed more than 6.5 million meals.

“The increase has manifested in multiple ways,” she explained. “We are seeing many more folks showing up at our sites where we do food distribution. Many of those individuals are oftentimes saying to us that they are coming for the first time.”

She said Feeding America is projecting a 50% increase in food insecurity for the service area in 2020 and a 75% increase for children because of the pandemic.

Unemployment plays a significant role in food insecurity rates," Jones Nichols said. "We know even prior to the pandemic that there were income inequalities and oftentimes they were tied to race and ethnicity.”

To continue helping the people they continue to serve, they need help from you. The food bank is looking for volunteers.

“We have a tremendous need for people to give their time so that we can meet the needs that exist in our community,” Jones Nichols said.

If you would like to become a volunteer to help sort, pack and distribute, click here.

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