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Relay Spotlight: Richmond’s Central Virginia Food Bank

Maybe you’ve seen Tweet, one of Relay’s adorable mascots, asking you to “Click to Feed the Hungry!” Maybe you’ve even ended up on our donation page for Charlottesville or Richmond and thought about donating a can or two to a good cause.

In support of Hunger Action Month this September, when Feeding America (the nationwide network of food banks) asks Americans to support ending domestic hunger, we’re spotlighting our year-round efforts on behalf of the Central Virginia Food Bank and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

In case you’ve ever wondered why you should join other Relayers in donating hundreds of pounds of food annually to these two organizations, I called Kim Bridges at the Central Virginia Food Bank to ask a few questions:

Q. Why are Food Bank donations important as kids head back to school?

A. For growing children who live in food-insecure environments, gaps in nutrition can occur throughout the year. When school’s in session, CVFB uses your donations to support two important initiatives that make sure kids are getting the nutrition they need. Our Kids Cafe partners with after-school programs to provide a nutritious evening meal or snack for at-risk children. The Weekend BackPack program sends children are at risk of hunger home with six healthy meals for the weekend.

Q. What’s the reach of these programs?

A. Last year (July 2010 through July 2011) these two programs provided nearly 770,000 meals to children in need.

Q. How much food goes through the Food Bank system?

A. The Food Bank’s average food distribution has climbed to more than 76,000 pounds each weekday.

Q. What kinds of food do you need the most?

A. It looks like the list of foods to donate on RelayFoods.com emphasizes the kinds of food we’re looking for:

  • Canned chicken + ham
  • Canned tuna + salmon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned fruits + vegetables
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Hot + Cold Cereals
  • Pasta + Rice

We focus our efforts on distributing nutritious food for the hungry, including adequate sources of protein. We also have a successful initiative that procures fresh produce for our recipients.

Q. How can Relayers become more involved?

A. First of all, we’re excited about the donations that Relay is already making. If anyone wants to become more involved, they can visit our website, CVFB.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest news. Feeding America‘s website is also informative about nationwide issues of hunger, food insecurity, and ways to help.

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