Virginia’s 11.8% food insecurity rate means that over 912,790 people do not know from where their next meal will come. With the average cost of a meal in Virginia being $2.68, Feeding America®s “Map the Meal Gap” concluded that an additional $406,935,780 would be needed to meet the state’s food needs.
Food banks are, categorically, one of the most cost-efficient and effective organizations in the country. In Virginia, food bank products account for 76% of items used by pantries, 57% of kitchens’ food and 34% of food distributed by shelters.
In the most recent “Hunger in America 2010” study by Feeding America®, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s food banks served 42% children (11% are children 0 – 5 years old), 6% elderly, 45% households with at least one employed adult and only 6% are homeless.Even more staggering is the report that 76% of those we serve live below the official federal poverty level.
However, with donations over the past years decreasing by as much as 50% and food assistance requests increasing as much as 40%, our food banks are in crisis and need major support to meet the needs of Virginia’s food insecure.