Daily Press (Sunday)

Need on rise, Foodbank plans drive ahead of Thanksgivi­ng

Donations will be accepted at 5 spots next weeekend

- By Gavin Stone Gavin Stone, 757-712-4806, gavin.stone @virginiame­dia.com

The need for donations has dramatical­ly increased in recent years, food bank staff say, and next weekend is an opportunit­y to meet that need.

Five locations throughout the region will accept food from 5:30 a.m. Friday to 3 p.m. Sunday as part of the 27th Annual Mayflower

Marathon Food and Fund Drive, hosted by Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox and FM99. Last year, the event secured enough food and money to provide 730,000 meals to those in need.

The Foodbank of Southeaste­rn Virginia and the Eastern Shore has seen an 18% increase in visits to their pantries compared with last year, according to spokespers­on Mallory Reckling. She added that Virginia Beach saw the largest spike in their coverage area, with a 32% increase. Norfolk saw a 25% increase.

“Food banks across the country are seeing an increase of need and a decrease in donations,” Reckling said.

Donors can drop off food at a the designated locations, and there is an online option. All donations are immediatel­y distribute­d to the foodbanks’ partner agencies the following week to get the food out before Thanksgivi­ng, according to Reckling.

The increases in families, seniors and others coming to food banks for help is due to a 14% increase in food costs and over the last two years, according to Liz Reasoner, Executive Director of the Food Bank of the Albemarle.

While need has increased, donations have lagged, forcing food banks to buy more food to keep up with demand, Reckling said.

“Inflation is hitting our pockets also,” she said.

The most needed items:

peanut butter and jelly mac and cheese canned fruit, applesauce or fruit cups (in juice or unsweetene­d)

canned protein — chicken, Spam, Vienna sausages, tuna, potted meat

cornbread and biscuit mixes, tortillas

cereal, oatmeal, and pancake mix low sodium hearty soups boxed meal kits boxed and instant potatoes pasta — regular, whole wheat and rice noodles

pasta sauce — alfredo and tomato based

rice — white and brown; regular, boxed, and microwavea­ble packs

condiments — ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, syrup, soy sauce, barbecue sauce

Canned pasta meals

The five locations:

Lynnhaven Mall: 701 Lynnhaven Pkwy, Virginia Beach

Kroger Marketplac­e: 1017 University Blvd, Suffolk

Kroger at Coliseum Central: 1050 W. Mercury Blvd, Hampton

Kroger: 5007-2 Victory Blvd, Yorktown

Moyock Welcome Center: 106 Caratoke Hwy, Moyock, NC

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