Valley Food Bank Sees Increase in Hunger

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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) -- A recent study shows one in seven Americans rely on food banks. One local food bank says they see this issue year round.

In 2009, during the height of the recession, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank served about 92,000 people each month.

Now, roughly 114,000 people rely on the food bank's services each month.

Leaders at the food bank say they've seen an increase in the need for food dating back about six to seven years.

With kids heading back to school, the food bank is providing several programs to make sure kids don't go hungry during the school year.

One of those is the Family BackPack Program, which gives kids access to healthier foods to take home over the weekend and school breaks.

Ruth Jones, the director of communications for the food bank, said she isn't shocked by the high number.

"The need remains high. From summer to school year, all year long. Hunger is a problem that occurs 365 days a year. It's not a seasonal problem," said Jones.

Leaders at the food bank told me they participated in this study. They just received the numbers for our area and are in the process of reviewing it now. They should have the results in the next several weeks.


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