NORFOLK, Va. - As the holiday season comes to a close, the need for giving continues at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and Eastern Shore.
Those who help run the organization say they receive most of their donations between October and January. Most of these donations come from holiday food drives, but the food donated from these efforts will only last for a few weeks.
"Everything we receive from holiday contributions will be gone end of January, beginning of February," explained Ruth Jones Nichols, chief executive officer of the food bank. "We welcome their support during the holiday season, but we need them 12 months out of the year."
There are approximately 170,000 people in Hampton Roads who are assisted by the food bank, their need last all year round.
"We have seen more food contributions, more monetary contributions and volunteers coming in to say what can I do to support the food bank," explained Nichols. "It has been a great time of year for us, but we know that shortly after the holidays the donations will actually decrease."
2018 was particularly difficult for the organization due to the closing of dozens of Farm Fresh grocery stores.
"When we received the news about Farm Fresh it was really devastating. We knew that we were going to lose 1.5 million pounds of food that is traditionally donated to our food bank," said Nichols.
Despite losing a major food source, there is still need to help feed thousands in the community. It's why Nichols is asking for people to consider donating to the food bank throughout the year.
"If we are going to sustain programs and grow them in 2019 we need individuals to not only be generous during the holiday season but to be generous during 2019 and beyond."
The food bank is in need of food donations, volunteers, money and also people who can help them contact elected officials to get more federally funded programs. To see how you can help, visit the food bank's website.