The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia operates the following programs with the hope of ending hunger and economic disparity.
Over 15 million meals have been distributed through the following programs. From fresh produce donated by local gardeners to large-scale child nutrition programs, the Foodbank helps people all over Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore who are hungry. Click on a program to learn more about it and how you can get involved.
The Mobile Pantry is hugely successful in providing a means for individuals and families to receive food when they cannot travel to an agency, or their local agency is at-capacity. During fiscal year 2016, the program distributed 1.4 million pounds of food to individuals who either could not travel to an agency or their local agency was at capacity.
The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore serves those who are hungry throughout the Foodbank’s 4,745-square-mile service area including the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Franklin and Virginia Beach as well as the counties of Southampton, Northampton, Sussex, Isle of Wight and Accomack. Even though the Foodbank is salvaging and distributing more food than ever before, census and poverty statistics clearly show that we are a long way from meeting the need. In order to meet this goal, we have instituted more programs to obtain additional food to reach more people.
The Foodbank has USDA distribution from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM every Friday morning.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
**Please note: USDA product can only be accessed once a month regardless of which food pantry you receive it.
The Foodbank has an exclusive contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia to distribute USDA Commodities in our service area. The Foodbank distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of these shelf stable, nutritious canned goods and staples through emergency pantry programs and our own food program each year. Some additional paperwork is involved, as this is a Federal Government program.
This national after-school program was created by Feeding America™ and is administered locally by the Foodbank. It is a place where children ages 5 through 18 can go to receive free, nutritious evening meals in a safe, supportive environment. 13 Kids Cafes are currently operating, conveniently located in low-income neighborhoods so participating children can walk or bicycle to these sites after school.
For more information on the program, please contact Debbie Kleeger, Child Nutrition Manager at 757.314.4555.
This nationally-recognized program distributes nutritious food to children at the end of the school day, before weekends and/or school breaks.
Students are identified by school personnel as being food insecure by a variety of criteria. More than 87,000 children in the Foodbank’s area are eligible to receive free or reduced-price school lunches – a reliable indicator that hunger and food insecurity regularly threaten their respective lives.
At present, the Foodbank serves 53 elementary schools in our area including schools in Tidewater and on the Eastern Shore. During fiscal year 2016, we distributed over 61,200 bags to over 3,400 students through this Program.
About the BackPack Program:
Bags/backpacks filled with food that children take home on weekends. Food is child-friendly, non-perishable, and easily-consumed. Bags/backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation.
The BackPack Concept:
The BackPack Program concept was developed at the Arkansas Rice Depot, after a school nurse asked for help because hungry students were coming to her with stomachaches and dizziness. The local food bank began to provide the school children with groceries in non-descript backpacks to carry home. Locally, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore piloted a BackPack Program for the first time on the Eastern Shore in 2008. The program received positive feedback and was wildly successful, spawning the establishment of a regionwide BackPack Program.
The BackPack Program became a pilot program in 1995. The National Council of Feeding America approved the BackPack Program as an official national program of the Network in July 2006.
For more information, please contact Debbie Kleeger, Childhood Nutrition Manager at 757.314.4555.
The Foodbank promotes community gardens, a terrific source of vitamins and an alternative to processed foods. The Foodbank works with individuals and groups to plan, plant, care for and harvest a garden that is shared by everyone who participates. Additionally, the Foodbank began a Nutrition Education Program that was conducted at 2 Boys & Girls Clubs’ Summer Feeding Programs in Exmore and Virginia Beach. The Program goal is to educate children about nutrition and empower them to make healthy food choices. Through weekly hour long workshops full of hands on activities, they learn how to plant and tend a garden, how plants grow, the food groups, why we need vitamins and minerals, composting, weeding, how to sprout seeds, and how to make smoothies. They also have plant part taste tests and a variety of guest speakers.
With assistance from corporate partners and supporters like, Bank of America, Onancock Building Supply, Bundick Well and Pump, Hill Sand and Gravel, Inc., Parksley Livestock Supply, and Thomas Gardens, it is to our excitement to announce the addition of a community garden located at our Eastern Shore Branch.