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People Taking Action: Local volunteer helps get meals to kids in need!

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Posted at 9:10 PM, Apr 13, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Families are struggling to put food on the table, and the pandemic is only exacerbating that challenge. That's why a special program in Virginia Beach is so important.

It's helping tens of thousands of students, and one of the volunteers is Karen McFatridge. For four years, she's been helping stuff bags with food going to kids in need in Virginia Beach. She believes it's important for her to take action this way.

"Because there are hungry children, and that just kills me," Karen said.

Debbie Hughes is with the Virginia Beach Education Foundation, which oversees the Beach Bags program, and says volunteers like Karen are critical.

"And every week, packing somewhere between 800 and 1,000 bags to go out to these kids. It's not a labor of love - it's almost like a factory. They're so proficient at what they do, and they're so passionate about it," Hughes said.

The bags are put together in an assembly-like style, distributed to the schools and sent home with the students who are in need.

Hughes says the volunteers play such a vital role to the program's success.

"One hundred percent of the donations, food and money are going directly to feed these students - there's no overhead. Without volunteers, we couldn't do it - there's no way," she said.

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For those reasons, News 3 presented Karen with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

Karen was shocked, delighted and immediately offered to give her gift card to help support the mission of the Beach Bags program.

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.