Bryan Clark, BCClark@vbgov.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Dec. 1, 2021) – The Virginia Beach Department of Human Services (DHS) along with its community partner, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, will host a holiday drive-thru food pantry for Virginia Beach residents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14 in parking lot of the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, 3550 Cellar Door Way. Pantry essentials, fresh produce and proteins will be distributed on a first come, first served basis until 2 p.m., or until supplies run out, whichever occurs first.
Pantry attendees should join the vehicle line through Dam Neck Road. Signs and volunteers will then direct traffic through to the loading stations. Participants are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times to limit person-to-person contact. In order to load the groceries and move vehicles through the lines as quickly as possible, we respectfully ask that the trunk or storage area of vehicles be free of clutter or organized to avoid handling personal items.
All groceries will be prepacked into bags and/or boxes containing a mix of fresh and shelf-stable foods such as fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy products, frozen meats, canned goods and some staple items, such as pasta, sugar and flour. Staff and volunteers, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, will load the groceries into the trunks or rear storage areas of participating vehicles.
“I’m thrilled that we are once again able to partner with the Foodbank and have an opportunity to get fresh food into the hands of individuals in our community who need it the most, just in time for the holiday season,” said DHS Director Aileen L. Smith. “Ensuring that households can have access to fresh, healthy foods is just one way we can help lessen the financial hardship that many families are experiencing in the wake of the pandemic.”
“We have witnessed, firsthand, the devastating impact of the pandemic on the individuals we serve, and the increased need for healthy and nutritious food persists,” said Emma Inman, Chief Impact Officer, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. “We appreciate our continued partnership with the City of Virginia Beach and look forward to another opportunity to extend services to the most vulnerable residents experiencing food insecurity this holiday season.”
On Oct. 20, 2020 the Virginia Beach City Council voted to provide an $8 million grant to launch the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership, which the United Way of South Hampton Roads is managing, to engage other local nonprofits, such as the Foodbank, to provide relief to Virginia Beach residents. This, and the previous drive-thru pantries, are a direct result of that partnership. To date, DHS and the Foodbank have served more than 5,300 households. Other relief measures included in the grant provide assistance for small businesses and individuals/families as well as workforce development programs. The Pandemic Relief Partnership has continued thanks to additional appropriations by the Virginia Beach City Council, including an additional $5 million to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
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