Young woman cooking healthy food with lots of vegetables
VERONA, Va -- The demand for food at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has tripled in the past 10 years. They serve about 120,000 people each month and gave out more than 17-million meals to hungry families last year. A third of those people have to choose between buying food or paying for medical care.
A new study says about 40-percent of food is wasted and never eaten. That means more than $100,000 also goes wasted. That food could help people who need food pantries to get by.
Loraine Thornton is 86-years-old and she has come to the Verona food pantry for the past year. She is just one of thousands of people who visit the food bank each month.
“Struggling. I'm just struggling like everybody else,” said Thornton.
Lots of food from the pantry is close to expiring or dented in. The pantry is an option for people who would otherwise throw food away and waste billions of dollars.
“It's disgusting, because there are too many hungry people in this world to throw away a crumb of bread, because somebody needs it. That's how I feel,” said Thornton.
Some of the expired or moldy food that is not safe for humans to eat, ends up in a designated bin. Then, farmers pick up the food and feed it to some of their animals. That way, most of the food, that is unsafe to eat, stays out of the pantry.
Volunteer John Bolton has worked for 10 years to help people like Thornton.
“We give them what we think they can use or what we think they can take and it's a mixed-type thing with people,” said Bolton.
Some people care about expiration dates and others are just thankful to have food on their plates.
“Now I can make it; now I can make it,” said Thornton.
Most food pantries do have a team of people who sort through food to make sure it is safe to eat. Some people avoid food that is dented or expired, even though, most of the time, that is fine to eat.
WHSV wants you to help us who need food pantries to get by. We are stuffing a truck, this time with food. To find out how you can donate, click here: WHSV Stuff the Truck
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