RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam, First Lady Pamela Northam and a number of cabinet members and state legislators volunteered at food banks across the state today. Many food banks all over the country have begun to see an increase in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading up to the pandemic, there were around 850,000 food insecure Virginians. Now months into the virus’s spread that number could be over a million. Feeding America says that in Virginia it is projected that an additional 275,000 people have become food insecure due to the pandemic.
Northam says 9% of Virginians were food insecure before the pandemic and now in some areas the number is 20% higher.
The governor volunteered at Feeding Southwest Virginia today while his wife helped out at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Cabinet members and state legislators divided to help at those two locations as well as Feed More in Richmond and the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank in Hampton.
Northam says he wants to encourage everyone to be part of the solution to make sure nobody goes hungry. “When there’s this high degree of food insecurity, we all need to be part of that team and really reach out and help individuals,” Northam said.
There are seven regional Feeding America food banks in Virginia that work to help partners in their region. To volunteer or donate to these locations, click here.
“We rely heavily on volunteers to get donated food items packaged in a way that we can distribute it to our local partner agencies,” said President and CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia Pamela Irvine. “Volunteers are the backbone of our organization, and we welcome everyone who wants to come help provide this critical service in our community.”
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