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Blue Ridge Area Food Bank continues to see high demand for food

The Food Bank works with over 200 community partners across 25 counties.
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank continues to see high demand
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank continues to see high demand(WHSV)
Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:41 PM EDT
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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) - In May of 2020, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and its partners saw a peak with more than 140,000 visitors at local food distribution sites with many people going for the first time.

The Verona-based food bank works with more than 200 community partners across 25 counties.

Michael McKee, CEO of the BRAFB, said the demand for food is still high and they’re seeing 15% more visitors than this time two years ago.

McKee said over the last year, they have had to adapt to changes like creating no touch distributions and prepackaged boxes. However, he said one of the key parts of the last year is the fact that food banks remained open.

“The great thing we had going for us is the tremendous spirit and resolve of the volunteers working at these pantries. They were going to get that job done no matter what,” McKee said.

At the peak last year, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank lost 8% of the food pantries they partner with and the percentage is lower now.

McKee said going forward they are planning to invest in more ways to provide for the community, including refrigerated trucks to carry food.

He added that they will be advocating for more federal support for food security.

“Food security is fundamental, not only to an individual’s wellbeing, but to a community’s well-being and to our national well-being,” McKee said.

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