The primary mission of the food banks is to feed hungry Virginians, and in 2014 distributed over 142 million pounds of product to over 1,199,500 individuals through more than 2,608 member agencies that directly serve those in need. Individuals needing food assistance annually visited food bank distribution agencies 9,654,900 times. These agencies operate programs such as soup kitchens, after school programs, senior centers and elderly feeding programs, Kids Cafe® Program, Head Start, transitional housing, mental health programs, homeless and domestic violence shelters, and individual household distribution. Many of our partner organizations are familiar in the community: Boys & Girls Clubs, the Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities. In addition, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks handles the coordination and distribution of food and supplies to victims of disasters and emergencies both locally and nationally.
Virginia’s food insecurity rate is 11.8%, which means that over 910,000 Virginians do not know where their next meal is coming from.
In the most recent “Hunger in America 2014” study by Feeding America, the Commonwealth of Virginia Food Bank clientele served include: 30% children (8.7% are children 0 – 5 years old), 15% senior population 60 years and older, 56% households with at least one employed adult working for pay in the last 12 months and only 4% are homeless. Even more staggering is the report that 69% of those we serve live below the official federal poverty level. Additionally, an estimated 21% of households across the Commonwealth report that someone in their household has served or is currently serving in the US Armed Forces or as a member of the military Reserve or National Guard. Every day families join the ranks of the working poor; these are individuals who can’t make ends meet or who find themselves forced to make appalling choices after suffering devastating personal or financial crises beyond their control.