RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — New allocation of $7 million in funding will seek to help Virginians who rely on food assistance.

Governor Ralph Northam announced Monday that the state will spend a portion of federal funding, made possible by the CARES Act, to feed families across the commonwealth.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the already serious problem of food insecurity in Virginia and across the country,” Northam said. “This funding will help Virginia food banks and other food assistance programs meet the increased demand for their services and ensure every Virginian has continued access to nutritious food during these challenging times.”

Feeding America estimates that close to 275,000 more Virginians may experience food insecurity in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“The funding will help the Federation of Virginia Food Banks and purchase fresh food and dairy products, filling an expected gap caused by the end of the federal Farmers to Families Food Box program and a severe drop in commodities at the end of the year. Food banks can also use the money to purchase shelf-stable commodities and address storage, refrigeration, and transportation issues,” the statement read.