757 Mobile Markets Bringing Healthy Food to You
Imagine stepping outside your front door to discover a bountiful farmers’ market. As you stroll through, shelves on either side display a rainbow of fresh, seasonal produce. You select some bright, red tomatoes, mushrooms, a head of crisp lettuce, a cucumber, onions and garlic, along with fragrant sprigs of basil and a juicy pint of strawberries. Next, you choose ricotta and parmesan cheeses, heavy cream, whole wheat pasta and olive oil. After leaving the market, you feel excited to prepare a healthy pasta dish and fresh garden salad for your family. Strawberries with homemade whipped cream will be a special summer dessert. The most special part of all, however, is that you have the money needed to pay bills — and provide a healthy meal that your family will love.
This summer, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore is introducing a fleet of Mobile Markets to provide healthy, nutritious foods directly to individuals and families with limited resources and low food access.
What exactly is a Mobile Market? Think of a farmers’ market on wheels that travels to neighborhoods with high rates of food insecurity. The Mobile Market truck parks, the doors open, and individuals can come inside to peruse an assortment of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, dairy items, proteins and pantry staples. They can select the items their family will most enjoy in a convenient, easily accessible and innovative client-choice model. An awning
will provide shade and coverage for individuals outside of the Mobile Market, and digital screens will provide information
about Mobile Market schedules and ingredients on board. Wheelchair access will ensure that individuals with varied
abilities can easily maneuver through the aisle to make their selections. Selections will be available at no cost, and eventually, individuals will be able to use their SNAP benefits for low-cost, affordable food options.
Four Mobile Markets will roll out in various parts of our service area. One large-scale, 30-foot truck will address food insecurity throughout our entire service area, and another — funded by the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership — will travel to neighborhoods with high rates of food insecurity in Virginia Beach. Two compact Mobile Markets will be utilized by Partner Agencies. The Mount Virginia Beach will
deliver food to the Lake Edwards and Bayside communities of Virginia Beach, and Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate
Conception will deliver food to St. Paul’s in Norfolk. The mobile nature of these markets makes them versatile in use
and location as we strive to meet the needs of neighbors throughout our service area.
Funding for the Virginia Beach-based Mobile Markets is made possible by the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership. Funding for the additional Mobile Markets is made possible by
Obici Healthcare Foundation and the CARES Act
2021 Board of Directors
Kevin X. Jones, Dollar Tree, Inc.
Thomas G. Werner, Norfolk Southern (Retired)
David Chase, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C.
Martha Ambler, Community Volunteer
Don Carey, III, Community Volunteer
Darius Davenport, Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, PLC
Larry W. Ebinger, Community Volunteer
Andre Elliott, YMCA of South Hampton Roads
Paul Finch, Community Volunteer
William Goings, Food Lion, Inc.
Carol Jarvis*, Community Volunteer
Amy Larch, Bank of America
Jeremy Moss, Bondadventure Realty Group
Dorcas Hodges Nelson*, Community Volunteer
Christie Nicholson, The Nicholson Companies
Kay O’Reilly, Eastern Shore Chapel
Leila Rice, Hampton Roads Sanitation District
Sara Rothenberg, EVMS
Dr. James Shaeffer, Eastern Shore Community College
Melissa Smith, A & N Electric Cooperative
Tonya Walley, Cox Communications
David Brown, CMAS, LLC
Bruce Holbrook, Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP
Peter M. Huber, Willcox & Savage
Andy Kline, Payday Payroll
Susan Mayo, Community Volunteer
William Nusbaum, Williams Mullen
Marianne P. Scott, Community Volunteer
Marc Weiss, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
Ruth Jones Nichols, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer (ex-officio)
*Active Honorary Members
Dear Foodbank Friend,
As we reflect over the past year of serving our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have acknowledged the challenges that have led to increased rates of food insecurity. In addition to continuing to address the challenges, we are focused on opportunities that have allowed us to keep moving toward our mission of leading the effort to eliminate hunger in our community. Concepts such as home delivery to children and seniors and online ordering options were just ideas before the pandemic forced them into reality. Now, as we move into the next phase of “a different normal,” we remain focused on serving our community with innovation and collaboration.
On the cover, you read about the fleet of Mobile Markets rolling out in our community. More than just a “cool concept,” these vehicles will be strategically
routed to bring food access directly into neighborhoods challenged with food insecurity to meet the immediate needs of neighbors. Below, you’ll find some quick stats on our three Food Hubs, designed to pair food access with holistic services to address root causes of food insecurity. We’ve also been busy cutting ribbon and breaking ground. This past spring, we “broke ground” on renovations for our organization’s Western Tidewater Branch and Community Produce Hub. Just five days later, a ribbon-cutting event marked the opening of The Community Feed at TCC Portsmouth Campus. Both of these projects hold a vision of transformational change for individuals and families in our community.
The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore is continuously evolving to better serve our neighbors in new and innovative ways. However, we’re careful not to lose sight of our original mission to provide healthy, nutritious foods to the people who need it most, and we couldn’t do it without you. Read on to learn five simple ways to become more involved this summer. Together, we are ending hunger today and nourishing hope for tomorrow. With sincerest gratitude,
Ruth Jones Nichols, PhD, Kevin X. Jones,
President and CEO Chair, Board of Directors
A New Scene at 618
There are certain communities within our service area that are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity, and we know that in Western Tidewater — and Franklin, in particular — food insecurity rates are the highest. Obici Healthcare Foundation, a long-time funder that supported our original Healthy Mobile Pantry in Suffolk, recognized the negative health outcomes impacted by these high rates. Their organization got involved by contributing a $300,000 grant to the Foodbank to address food insecurity in Western Tidewater.
Over the past year, the Foodbank launched the Healthy Food Pantry Program at Hayden Village, along with a temporary Community Produce Hub at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, both in Franklin. Now, the vision is set on renovating a building at 618 South Street, in Franklin that will serve as the Foodbank’s Western Tidewater Branch and Community Produce Hub.
This location will feature a Marketplace, Café and Commercial Kitchen, as well as conference rooms, offices and a warehouse/distribution center for Partner Agencies in Western Tidewater to access food conveniently. Classes and workshops will provide resources for addressing root causes of food insecurity.
Renovations are now underway.
Campus Feeding Continued
Even before COVID-19, Feeding America estimated that 31% of college students were choosing between food and educational expenses. The pandemic has worsened the economic status for many students who were already struggling. Some students who were working part-time have needed to seek full-time employment to keep up with expenses. Others have lost the jobs they were working to pay for school and have needed to drop out entirely because college became unaffordable. We recognize the link between food insecurity and students, especially those attending two-year colleges, and so the Foodbank partnered with Tidewater Community College to begin addressing the issues for local students.
In 2019, TowneBank awarded the Foodbank with a $250,000 donation to launch campus-based pantries over the course of five years. We launched the initiative with a series of Pop-Up Mobile Markets in fall 2019 on the Norfolk and Portsmouth TCC campuses. Then in June 2020, we
opened The Community Feed at TCC, located at MacArthur
Center. Since then, the site has served 1,311 households,
including TCC students and individuals from the general public, who have gained access to healthy meals to prepare at home for themselves and their families.
In April 2021, the Foodbank launched the second Community Feed at TCC, located on the Portsmouth TCC Campus. This site is a mixed-use space providing healthy food options and a partner workspace for learning sessions related to root causes of food insecurity. The Foodbank has also collaborated with TCC on a new Food to Finish program, funded by Virginia Natural Gas. Through this program, currently enrolled students will have access to shop for fresh produce, meats and other groceries at The Community Feed at TCC locations, enabling them to save money for other necessities and to maintain their focus on academics. Students can shop for up to 30 pounds of food each week. In conjunction with The Community Feed at TCC, the college launched the Student Resource and Empowerment Center, a Single Stop site that
connects students with a variety of free, comprehensive social services and financial resources to help them stay focused on their academic goals and personal development.
Whether you’re new to the Foodbank family or have been involved in our mission for years, we appreciate your commitment, and we’re glad you’ve joined this movement. Your contributions make it possible for children to be nourished and thrive, for seniors to afford food and medicine, and for families to work toward bright futures without the worry of hunger. Wondering how else to get involved? Here are five simple ways that lead to significant impacts for neighbors in our community.
Have you heard of our monthly giving program, FEED365? It’s an easy, convenient way to give monthly, feed daily. Simply select your monthly donation amount and know that your contributions are being effectively used to impact individuals in our community. Already a FEED365 member? Consider increasing your monthly gift. Whether it’s a monthly gift of $5 or $500, your support makes an incredible difference. Sign up here at foodbankonline.org/how-to-help/donate-funds/feed365.
Host a summer food drive
What better way to connect with friends, family, neighbors or colleagues than to come together for a critical cause? During the summer months, schools are closed, and donations typically decrease — making it a vital time to consider making a contribution. You can collect non-perishable food, hygiene items and baby products from our shopping list and donate them to the Foodbank for us to distribute. Find our Food Drive Toolkit with more info at foodbankonline.org/how-tohelp/donate-food/host-a-food-drive.
Sign up for a volunteer shift You can help eliminate hunger in our community with just a few hours of your time. There are many different ways to volunteer — whether as an individual, small group or organization — with opportunities in Norfolk, the Eastern Shore and Western Tidewater. Your volunteer experience could lead you to assist at a Mobile Pantry, sort non-perishable food items, prepare bags for the Backpack Program or even roles such as entering data and greeting visitors. Get started here at foodbankonline.org/how-to-help/donate-time/volunteer.
Use your voice on social media
Social media is a beneficial tool for spreading education about food insecurity. Connect with us on our social media channels @FoodbankSEVA and commit to sharing one post that resonates with you each week. It’s a quick and simple way to use your time and voice to bring more understanding and awareness to the issue of food insecurity, its root causes and consequences and the disparities associated with it.
Become an advocate
Your voice is more powerful than you may realize.You can encourage lawmakers to visit a Virginia food bank to understand the issues surrounding food insecurity, as well as the importance of the partnership between government and nonprofits. Learn more here at foodbankonline.org/how-tohelp/become-an-advocate/take-action.