Dominion Energy helps food reach people in need with $100,000 grant
The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks to help ensure perishable food items get to those who need it most in the Commonwealth.
The grant will help Virginia's seven food banks with storage costs necessary to maintain and distribute fresh food statewide, including produce, milk, and other items which would otherwise go to waste.
- Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (Verona)
- Capital Area Food Bank (Lorton)
- Feeding SW Virginia (Salem)
- Feed More (Richmond)
- Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia & the Eastern Shore (Norfolk)
- Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank (Fredericksburg)
- Virginia Peninsula Foodbank (Hampton)
The food banks regularly receive and distribute food through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). This food, also known as government commodities, can typically constitute up to 30% of a food bank's inventory and is made available at no cost to low-income households through eligible nonprofit outlets.
Beginning this year, the USDA has increased the volume of food available through TEFAP due to the trade mitigation purchase program. Virginia's food banks received over 6.3 million pounds of food from January to June of this year in conjunction with the new program. Unfortunately, the food banks had to decline a significant amount of product due to limited storage capacity that was not suited to meet the program's irregular schedules and exceptionally large-volume deliveries.
"We want to accept and distribute more of the food made available to us. We are still seeing high levels of need at our 1,500 partner agencies and food donations continue to decline as retailers and manufacturers get more efficient," said Eddie Oliver, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. "This grant gives us the unique opportunity to get nutritious food to the 865,000 Virginians facing food insecurity."
"No one should go hungry while food is available. This money will help food banks in many of the communities we serve in Virginia ensure that healthy, nutritious food gets to those in need," said Hunter Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.
The Federation of Virginia Food Banks is the Commonwealth's largest hunger-relief network, comprising the seven regional Virginia/Washington DC food banks and supporting them in providing food, funding, education, and advocacy services throughout the state.