If you’re like me and grew up in the Valley or have lived here for a while, it may be hard to fathom the fact that over 34,000 of our Valley neighbors struggle with food insecurity. Maybe it’s because the majority of us convey the middle class persona – we work hard in our jobs and take pride in our work. We treasure our families and would do anything for them. We drive nice cars and trucks in order to safely transport our loved ones to school and church. We have built nice homes with our hard-earned dollars. However, with each layer peeled back a harsh reality is revealed for many of our neighbors. That beautiful home may merely be a shell with no furniture or empty cupboards. The nice car or truck may be the only reliable transportation available. Maybe that job is not full-time work, it does not include benefits or pays low wages. The family that looks healthy and fed may resort to watering down their food to make it last longer or only eating one full meal a day. Some parents even skip meals in order to feed their children. Yes, friends, this is our reality… right here in the Shenandoah Valley. These are our neighbors, our family members, our colleagues and friends and one in every 10 of them struggles with food insecurity.
Like the rolling hills and ridges of the Valley, the landscape of hunger is complex. Every individual we serve at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and our 215 partner agencies has a personal challenge to overcome. As difficult as it is to ask for help, our neighbors graciously and gratefully receive the support they need because they care for their families and their loved ones as much as we care for ours.
You can join us and make their path just a little easier. We invite you to participate in the 2017 Valley Businesses Give Back food and fund drive. This year’s drive will take place from June 5 through June 23.
Valley Businesses Give Back is a central Shenandoah Valley initiative that provides the opportunity for your business or organization to Give Back to our hungry neighbors and lead the community by example. First launched in 2011, Valley Businesses Give Back has collectively raised more than $24,000 and brought in more than 46,000 pounds of food to benefit the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. All told, we’ve been able to provide more than 134,000 meals to Shenandoah Valley families as a result.
I hope you’ll consider joining us by participating in this year’s food and fund drive. Every dollar and every can of food helps to feed the hard-working families of the Valley who struggle to make ends meet. By participating in Valley Businesses Give Back, you’re setting a place at the table for our friends in need. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to our community and the flourishing of the Shenandoah Valley.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Together, we can provide nourishment and hope for our Valley neighbors. Together, we can solve hunger.