CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds of families waited for food at the Chesterfield Food Bank on Friday. Police told 8News 250 cars were already on-site, one hour before distribution at 5 p.m.
Nearly 600 families were served last week, and the food bank expects to beat that number following Friday’s distribution. Some families carpool in one car so it possible volunteers serve double the number of vehicles seen waiting for pickup.
“I’m a little upset that there’s such a need, but I am so thankful that we can fulfill that need, and that there’s so many folks that come here, give of their time,” Steve Allgeier said, a 10-year volunteer with the food bank.
People will no longer see long lines on Iron Bridge Road now that there is a makeshift parking lot behind the food bank off of Chalkley Road.
Once families arrive they can register for a food cart, they are then giving an orange tab to mark their car and they wait for food to be distributed.
Major donors to the Chesterfield Food Bank include Amazon, Feed More, Publix and Walmart.
From January to October of last year the Chesterfield Food Bank served 66,549 families, distributed 1.4 million pounds of food and had over 10,000 volunteers.
In the same period this year the number of families served almost tripled amidst the pandemic. Just around 5,500 worked to serve 199,552 families and distribute 3.3 million pounds of food, according to Nicholas Jenkins, marketing manager for Chesterfield Food Bank.
“Due to COVID we have a lot of people who have experienced job loss. They’re experiencing a tighter financial situation, so they’re making the choice between being able to pay a bill, pay rent or go grocery shopping, and they’re going to go without one area so we’re able to provide food so they’re not having to go hungry in our community,” Jenkins said.
Less volunteers this year can be partially attributed to less visits from school groups, seniors staying home and a general wariness of spreading the coronavirus.
There are two more upcoming food bank distribution times:
- Saturday, Nov. 21 at Virginia State University starting at 10 a.m.
- Monday, Nov. 23 at Journey Christian Church on Hull Street starting at 5 p.m.