STAUNTON, Va. -- Eric Eastman and Fred Bowers, food pantry volunteers, see needy people take food from the pantry's shelves to keep food on their table.
“They need nutritious food, and we try to have that for them,” said Bowers.
Staunton City Councilman Erik Curren has launched a food-based task force. It will eventually bring food to Valley schools and to the food bank.
“Now people will hopefully come together, but in the local community one thing that does bring people together is the issue of food,” said Curren. “Everybody eats, and everybody cares about the quality of their food.”
Another task force initiative is making sure people grab nutrient-packed food, instead of something that might not be as healthy. They want to make sure people are educated enough to make healthy decisions.
The task force would form partnerships, propose policies and promote more gardens. Needy people would also have resources they need to grow food themselves and that would help the Staunton community become more sustainable.
“If they had an opportunity to grow their food, I'm sure they will,” said Bowers, “Any time you can have fresh food like that, it's much better than food that's been trucked across the country or something like that.”
The idea is to spread the organization's goals.
“I see a lot of people in here, they tell their friends to come down here who need help, a lot of times, so I think that would spread by word of mouth,” said Eastman.
Bowers said their website could also bring awareness to their cause.
“It'd be another resource. Any other resource that we could bring online, it'd certainly be a help. Certainly be a help,” said Bowers.
The group wants a diverse base of people to represent everyone in Staunton. The group plans to hold two public meetings in February. You can find the dates for those meetings here: Staunton Food Policy Task Force
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