At the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank we are driven by our core beliefs that hunger is unacceptable; that everyone deserves access to enough food; that food sustains life and nourishes health; and that we are called to serve neighbors in need without judgement.
We were founded in 1981 in Staunton, VA by a 5-member board, including the man who would become the first Executive Director, Phil Grasty. By the end of the first year, the Food Bank distributed 233,000 pounds of food to the hungry through 202 member agencies in 18 counties along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At that point in time, our work was considered a “major experiment in food banking” because of the rural nature of our service area.
As the need for emergency food assistance grew in other areas of the Blue Ridge region, the Food Bank expanded and relocated to a new facility in Verona, VA, now the headquarters of the organization. Three other branches were established in Charlottesville, Winchester and Lynchburg between 1982 and 1985.