Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Sees Greater Need For Service As Inflation Soars
VERONA, Va. – As food prices continue to rise due to inflation, more and more people are turning to food banks for help. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank has seen the need for its services continually increase over the last year.
The food bank said one major concern is the increasing number of people who are facing food insecurity despite being employed.
The employment number is up 50% just in the last six months. That tells us that families who are working and still struggling are struggling even more, and, of course, its because of inflation, said Michael McKee, CEO of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.
Moving into the summer the food bank expects to see an even larger increase in people needing its services as children are now out of school.
Children who were receiving free and reduced meals in schools through the school year are for the most part not able to get access to food during the summer, said McKee.
There are summer feeding programs that the government supports, but the requirements are so stringent on non-profits and schools that only 1 out of every 5 children eligible for these programs is able to participate, he added.
McKee said inflation is just the latest in a troubling trend of increased food insecurity that began with the Great Recession in 2008 and has continued for 14 years.
McKee added that the food bank was serving just over half of the number of people it is serving today back in 2008 prior to the recession.
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Volunteer And Food Drive Coordinator
Do you have a passion for engaging and bringing community members together for a cause that makes a real difference in peoples lives? Use your people, leadership, coordination, and communication skills to engage and grow the Food Banks volunteer and food drive program by developing relationships with individuals, area employers, organizations and other entities in the greater Charlottesville and Lynchburg areas.
The Volunteer & Food Drive Coordinator leads the coordination of a robust volunteer program, which includes the organization of screening, recruitment, orientation, retention, and recognition efforts for volunteers who assist in Food Bank operations. The Coordinator also manages logistics related to regional food drives.
This position reports to the Volunteer & Food Drive Manager and works in close collaboration with Operations staff, Partner Engagement & Programs staff, and is part of a highly collaborative and successful Development team.
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank To Continue Summer Food Service Program
VERONA, Va. – Last week, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank announced it will be continuing its Summer Food Service Program to help fight childhood hunger in the Valley.
According to data from the food bank, 1 in 12 kids in the region face food insecurity, and the program uses different venues like Boys and Girls clubs, summer schools, and churches to distribute the meals in the summer months.
Staff at BRAFB say the goal is to get nutritious meals to kids at home over the summer break, as hunger is a year-round issue.
Schools are a strong and steady and constant source of meals during the school year and during the 180 days or so that school is in session. But, it turns out that when those kids go home and when school is closed so is that source of food, Director of Programs for BRAFB Zach Nissen said.
To find locations of meals along with dates and times, click here.
Copyright 2022 WHSV. All rights reserved.
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How To Find Food Resources
Access Food Finder flyers in multiple languages
The Agency will not engage in discrimination, in the provision of services, against any person because of race, color, citizenship, religion, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation including gender identity or expression, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran.
Our Vision, Mission & Core Beliefs
Our VISION is that everyone has enough to eat. Our MISSION is to provide nourishing food to our neighbors in need through vibrant community partnerships and passionate public support. Our CORE BELIEFS are that hunger is unacceptable, that everyone deserves access to enough food, that food sustains life and nourishes health, and that we are called to serve without judgment.
Where We Are Today
Today we serve 25 counties and 8 cities on either side of the Blue Ridge through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester and Verona . We provide nutritious food to 109,500 people on average each month through a far-reaching network of more than 400 community partnersfood pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and program sites like schools, community centers, and health care clinics.
We are members of Feeding America, a national organization supporting more than 200 food banks across the country, and the largest domestic hunger relief agency in the U.S. We are also members of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, an association of the seven food banks in Virginia.See our latest fact sheet for details.
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The Key Responsibilities Of The Data And Technology Specialist Include:
- Maintain responsibility for the integrity, performance, and security of the databases in the Organization. Manage record maintenance and clean-up.
- Maintain database performance by troubleshooting and resolving problems.
- Respond to data and report requests, filter, and clean data to ensure optimum report generation and correction of data label problems.
- Implement quality control procedures, including assisting with developing and writing training materials, and train staff in accurate data entry processes and reporting, and other training in common applications, such as Microsoft Office.
- Oversee, support and post content to online resource for partner agencies.
- Support Tableau data visualizations for use on organization website and internally.
- Administer JET reporting services to include server implementation, custom report creation, user record maintenance and license management
- Serve as point of contact for managed IT services, including the coordination and communication of internal first line tech support, execute ticket creation, ticket management, service feedback.
- Manage technology resources including planned replacement of technology.
- Provide technical assistance and support for queries and other issues as needed.
The Key Responsibilities Of The Volunteer & Food Drive Coordinator Include:
- Manages inquiries and questions from existing and potential volunteers and works to match volunteer skills and interest with existing needs
- Coordinates the recruitment, orientation, and training of volunteers and works closely with Operations staff to ensure quality, consistency management of the BRAFB Volunteer Program
- Ensures that volunteers receive and understand policies, procedures, and regulations that are necessary and relevant to their work and the mission of the Food Bank
- Actively works with cross department managers to recruit volunteers for ongoing needs, nutrition programs and specialized needs
- Identifies and pursues opportunities to connect BRAFB with local businesses and organizations to engage volunteers and maximizes BRAFB volunteer visibility through local resources
- Works with the Volunteer & Food Drive Manager to coordinate volunteer communication, support and develop volunteer recognition programs and initiatives, and evaluate program effectiveness, prepare necessary reporting, manage a budget, and establish annual goals
- Communicates, coordinates, and assists with logistics of food drives in the greater Charlottesville and Lynchburg areas including record-keeping, delivery, and pickup of barrels by working with colleagues in Operations.
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Data And Technology Specialist
Would you like to put your computer technology skills and experience to use at a leading non-profit hunger-relief agency in the Blue Ridge area?
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is seeking a Data and Technology Specialist to assist and provide support to colleagues and partner agencies on information technology systems, data management, and equipment use needs, and to serve as the liaison between the Food Bank and its managed IT services vendor.
Neighborhood Assistance Program State Tax Credit
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
The Neighborhood Assistance Program was created by the 1981 Virginia General Assembly. State tax credits are available to encourage donors to contribute directly to qualified non-profit agencies, such as the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. In addition to the state credit, the donor may also claim the charitable donation on federal taxes to the extent allowed by law.
The Food Bank applies annually and is awarded allocations based on proven operational success and on our capacity to serve impoverished people. To participate and apply to participate in this program, please use the forms below starting :
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What We Aim To Solve
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is the largest organization alleviating hunger in western and central Virginia, serving 25 counties and 8 cities in communities over 12,000 square miles. We work hand-in-hand with hundreds of partners to solve hunger and to address the many companion health problems made worse by chronic undernutrition.
The Key Responsibilities For The Manager Of Health Initiatives Include:
- Manage existing healthcare partnerships including administration, data collection, evaluation, and improvement educate health partners on connections between hunger and health, research and share effective and dignified approaches to screen and intervene for food insecurity
- Develop and implement consistent policies, procedures, trainings, and effective practices for existing and new health and nutrition programs which maintain program integrity and ensure compliance with all contractual requirements
- Collaborate with regional colleagues to onboard new healthcare partners and establish guest-centered in-clinic pantries,
- Develop health and nutrition program strategies, utilize data, evaluate efficiencies, develop, and monitor impact metrics, and assess opportunities for expansion and enhancement across the BRAFB service area
- Create and/or provide resource materials, training, and support to BRAFB partner agencies regarding partnering with health care providers and health-focused organizations in their community
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Manager Of Health Initiatives
Do you have a passion for creating positive change in the health and wellness of our community? Are you interested in developing programs to promote health equity through improved nutrition security initiatives? Are you looking to apply your program planning, development, and evaluation skills to support the work of an engaging, collaborative, and inclusive team?
The Manager of Health Initiatives will manage the implementation and evaluation of programs to promote health equity through improved nutrition security in the Food Banks service area. The Manager will collaborate with the Director of Health Initiatives on planning, development, and enhancement of health initiatives, and will work closely with Partner Engagement and Programs colleagues to identify potential community/healthcare partners and implement strategies that improve access to nutritious and culturally familiar food choices, especially for marginalized groups including people of color and rural populations.
Ner Technology Support Coordinator
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is expanding its Partner Engagement and Programs team to enhance equitable food access for diverse populations. The Food Bank has an exciting opportunity for a Partner Technology Support Coordinator to merge and utilize their technology training skills with customer service and outreach to work with program site volunteers, clients, and colleagues in making an impact in an organization that provides food assistance.
The Partner Technology Support Coordinator provides ongoing technology training instruction and onboarding support to the Food Banks partner and programs network and staff. The Partner Technology Support Coordinator leads the educational and training activities for volunteers in the use of the Food Banks human services software and other software platforms used by partner agencies and programs to acquire food, schedule pick-ups and deliveries, and record information essential to the Food Banks operation and data analytics needs.
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Age Guidelines For Volunteering
To ensure the safety of volunteers and staff in an active warehouse setting, we have certain age limits for all volunteer opportunities. Some shifts have specific age requirements, so please read each job description carefully when registering.
- Children between the ages of 12 and 16 may volunteer in the Food Recovery Area as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian for each shift. Volunteers age 17 and older may work without an accompanying adult in the Food Recovery Area.
To engage younger children in the fight against hunger, visit our Talk About Hungerpage for ideas.
Who We Serve
2021 statistics show that we served an average of 885 people per month. 232 were over 60, 229 were under 19, and 425 were 19 to 59. Total individuals served was 10,623. We distributed nearly 700,000 pounds of food.
A survey of those obtaining food from the Food Pantry indicated that the patrons appreciate the wonderful, friendly volunteers, the ability to select what they want instead of having food selected for them, and the generous allowances.
The number of people needing food in July of 2022 was about double needing it in January of 2022. The need is real!
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What We Do
Today we serve 25 counties and 8 cities on either side of the Blue Ridge through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester and our headquarters in Verona. We provide nutritious food to 106,000 people each month through a far-reaching network of 200 food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, churches and other nonprofit groups.
Our VISION is that everyone has enough to eat.
Our MISSION is to provide nourishing food to our neighbors in need through vibrant community partnerships and passionate public support.
Our CORE BELIEFS
Who We Are
At the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank we are driven by our core beliefs that hunger is unacceptable that everyone deserves access to enough food that food sustains life and nourishes health and that we are called to serve neighbors in need without judgment.
We were founded in 1981 in Staunton, VA by a 5-member board, including the man who would become the first Executive Director, Phil Grasty. By the end of the first year, the Food Bank distributed 233,000 pounds of food to the hungry through 202 member agencies in 18 counties along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At that point in time, our work was considered a major experiment in food banking because of the rural nature of our service area.
As the need for emergency food assistance grew in other areas of the Blue Ridge region, the Food Bank expanded and relocated to a new facility in Verona, VA, now the headquarters of the organization. Three other branches were established in Charlottesville, Winchester and Lynchburg between 1982 and 1985.
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