Happening now: Peninsula Foodbank relies on annual Mayflower Marathon to re-stock its shelves

2021 Mayflower Marathon, food drive
Posted at 1:55 PM, Nov 19, 2021

HAMPTON, Va. – The Mayflower Marathon is kicking off its 25th annual food drive! The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank relies on this to help the 62,000 people on the Peninsula that are food insecure.

"This is our biggest food and fund drive of the year,” said Karen Joyner, the chief executive officer for the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. “You know how the shelves in the grocery stores are fairly bare, even now? If the grocers don’t have food to sell to you, they don’t have food to donate to the food bank. Our food donations have been down 40% so we’re relying on the Mayflower Marathon to help us re-stock our shelves for the holidays.”

There are multiple donation sites, and you can drop off donations anytime Friday or Saturday until Sunday at 3 p.m. See below for details. Volunteers are helping with grocery donations and will also accept monetary donations.

Outside the Kroger on Mercury Boulevard on Friday, News 3 witnessed a couple donating about 20 turkeys. One volunteer also stated that an individual came through in the morning and donated $1,000, but even a small donation makes a difference. With the food bank buying from a wholesale distributor, it says it can provide four meals for every dollar donated.

“Every can counts. Every dollar makes a difference, and so can you,” said Mike Arlo with radio station 106.9 The Fox, a longtime sponsor of the Mayflower Marathon.

“The last couple years have been a little rough on everybody, and it’s just heartwarming to see all the turkeys coming in, because they go right back out and they’re going to be on someone’s table this year,” Arlo said.

Joyner says that during the pandemic, more than half of those using the food bank did so for the first time.

Nobody should ever be embarrassed to need food assistance. Everybody goes through a season of their life where there’s some situation where it causes them to need a little help, and we’re here to help.”

To receive assistance or to find out more information on the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, click here.

More Mayflower Marathon information:

Most needed items:

  • frozen turkeys
  • canned meats (tuna, chicken, spam)
  • hearty, meaty soups
  • instant potatoes
  • family-size box rice
  • spaghetti/pasta meals
  • jelly
  • canned fruits and vegetables
  • gravy
  • cereals
  • 100% juice
  • canned beans (pinto, black, kidney, garbanzo)
  • baby food and formula

Monetary donations go a long way.

Drive-Thru Locations:

5007-2 Victory Blvd., Tabb/Yorktown
Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

1050 W. Mercury Blvd., Hampton
Around the clock from Friday 5:30 a.m. to Sunday at 3 p.m.