Thousands of meals donated through Stuff a Truck

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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) — The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank collected 21,175 meals worth of food and monetary donations during this year's Stuff a Truck campaign.

September is Hunger Action Month, and here in the Shenandoah Valley, WHSV partnered with Martin's and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB) for our annual "Stuff a Truck" campaign.

This year's Stuff a Truck was held on September 15 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Martin's stores in Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro. WHSV and BRAFB hoped to collect 30,000 meals (not pounds).

The Harrisonburg location collected 5,444 pounds of food and $1,167.08. Waynesboro collected 2,812 pounds of food and $290.99. Staunton collected 2,944 pounds of food and $282.85. Charlottesville collected 2,697 and $657.48.

In addition to in-person donations, there is a virtual food drive where you can donate money to the food bank (note: virtual food drive requires flash and cannot be done on a mobile device. Click here to donate to the food bank on your smartphone). Just $1 is equal to four meals. The virtual food drive is open throughout the month of September.

The food bank is asking for a variety of donations, including an emphasis on foods with lower sugar, lower sodium, whole grains, and even gluten-free items. A list of the most needed items can be found at this link.

The Blue Ridge Area Food Banks serves 25 counties and 8 cities on either side of the Blue Ridge. The Shenandoah Valley branch in Verona serves Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro and counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham.

The food bank serves more than 104,000 people each month through its four distribution centers, including more than 8,000 children each month through after-school programs.

In the Blue Ridge area, 9.1% of people struggle with hunger and 14.4% of children are food insecure.

This year's theme is "Feeding Their Potential," which highlights the potential for every person to thrive when they have access to enough nutritious food. The campaign also offers ways for people to get involved with local programs.

Hunger advocates can spread awareness among their Facebook and Twitter followers by wearing or displaying orange, the color of hunger awareness. They can also share selfies or photos holding paper plates that state the impact of an empty stomach and what they can do to solve hunger. Remember to tag @BRAFB, and use the hashtags #HungerActionMonth and #GoOrange.

You can learn more about Hunger Action Month, as well as more about the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and hunger in our area by visiting the BRAFB website.

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