Or Charlottesville, or Winchester, or Staunton or Lexington or any one of many other communities in the Blue Ridge region….?

It’s apparent to those of us working at the food bank that every day, that nagging and stressful question is on the minds of many caring, hard-working people in central and western Virginia.

And when we put ourselves in their shoes, we ponder what it must be like for a parent to juggle all the responsibilities of caring for their family while also worrying about the lack of food in their pantry or fridge.  How will they send their daughter off to sports practice, or their son off to kindergarten, without enough food to nourish them through the day?

Those are the questions we are trying to address with a new and innovative initiative.

We believe there is enough food to meet the need, and enough caring people in all the communities we serve to distribute the food available.

At the crux of this question are still others – do those worried parents know about the resources that exist, do they know how to access them, do they understand that they can ask for help?

We want the answer to each of those questions to be a resounding “Yes.”  To that end, we recently launched LynchburgFeeds – a public awareness campaign designed to reach the citizens of Lynchburg who need food assistance.  We’re testing this approach in one city first, to see if it works.  If it’s effective, we may try it elsewhere.

With the endorsement of local champions – Mayor Treney Tweedy, Jubilee director Sterling Wilder, Boys & Girls Club executive director Mark Sheehan, and Parks & Rec specialist Micky Ferguson – we’re using grassroots marketing tools to spread the word.  At the core of the campaign is www.LynchburgFeeds.org – a centralized website with information about the food pantries and food programs in and near Lynchburg City.

So if you’re one of those worried parents, maybe you can sleep a little better tonight.  Visit LynchburgFeeds.org and find the help you need. 

It’s OK – everyone needs a helping hand, sometimes.


Karen Ratzlaff serves as the Food Bank’s Chief Philanthropy Officer and encourages communities to advocate for individuals and families in need.