Verona Community Food Pantry fighting food insecurity

Volunteers at the Verona Community Food Pantry
Volunteers at the Verona Community Food Pantry(WVIR)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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VERONA, Va. (WVIR) - The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank’s hub in Augusta County is working hard to help feed families in need. The food bank provides food to many pantries in the Shenandoah Valley and central Virginia.

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Verona Community Food Pantry was feeding around 200 people each week. While that number has gone down, food insecurity hasn’t gone away.

William O’Neill says putting food on the table for his family is not an easy task.

“We’ll be good for the next month,” O’Neil said. “I haven’t been back to the food pantry since February, That was the last time I was here. Prior to that, I was here before the pandemic hit.”

O’Neill calls the food pantry in Verona a blessing. “It’s a blessing to know that this is here in times when you need it,” he said.

The warehouse in Verona is filled with a wide selection, much of which comes directly from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

“Food banks were never intended to become a primary source of food, but that’s what has happened over the years,” BRAFB CEO Michael McKee said.

McKee says if you need help buying food, do not hesitate to ask for help.

“If you know where your next meal is coming from this week but not next, or if your financial outlook is a little murky or bleak even in the months ahead, we want you to utilize the services that exist in the community,” McKee said.

Donating money to BRAFB helps the organization to better support people in need during tough times.

“If you make a donation to the food pantry, they’re going to put it to good use. It doesn’t go to waste,” O’Neill said.

The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank predicts there will be a lot of people in need of food once federal benefits subside in September.

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