VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - In need of food during this difficult time? Your city and local food bank have got you covered.
The Virginia Beach Department of Human Services (DHS) and its community partner, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, will host a fourth drive-thru food pantry for Virginia Beach residents from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8 in the parking lot of the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, located at 3550 Cellar Door Way.
Pantry essentials, fresh produce and proteins will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until 12 p.m. or supplies run out, whichever occurs first.
Attendees are asked to join the vehicle line through Dam Neck Road. Signs and volunteers will direct traffic through to the loading stations. Participants are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times to limit person-to-person contact.
In an effort to load the groceries as quickly as possible, you are asked that the trunk or storage area be free of clutter or organized to avoid handling personal items.
All groceries will be prepacked into bags and/or boxes containing a mix of fresh and shelf-stable foods such as fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy products, frozen meats, canned goods and some staple items such as pasta, sugar and flour. No substitutions are allowed. Staff and volunteers, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, will load the groceries into the trunks or rear storage areas of participating vehicles.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen families and individuals worry about where their next meal will come from,” said Aileen L. Smith, DHS director. “Unfortunately, this hardship will not immediately vanish with a vaccine. It is so important to ensure these households are able to have access to fresh, healthy food as they recover from the financial impacts of the past 15 months. Thanks to our partnership with the Foodbank, we can help lessen that worry.”
“Since the start of the pandemic, we've seen an increased need for food assistance for families facing food insecurity in our service area; and we anticipate that need to grow over the next few months, especially for the 11,740 food insecure children in Virginia Beach home from school this summer,” said Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, president & CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. "We are grateful for our partnership with DHS and our Virginia Beach partner agencies who share our commitment to ensuring families and children have access to healthy food as they work to recover from this public health crisis."
On Oct. 20, 2020, the Virginia Beach City Council voted to provide an $8 million grant to launch the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership, which the United Way of South Hampton Roads is managing, to engage other local nonprofits, such as the Foodbank, to provide relief to Virginia Beach residents. This and the previous drive-thru pantries are a direct result of that partnership.
To date, the city has served more than 3,600 households with the Foodbank. Other relief measures included in the grant provide assistance for small businesses and individuals/families as well as workforce development programs.