Mission: The mission of Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB) is to provide nourishing food to their neighbors in need through vibrant community partnerships and passionate public support.
Community Need: The BRAFB serves approximately 31,556 individuals each month through its 68 partner agencies located in the Shenandoah Valley service area, including the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro, as well as Augusta and Highland Counties. With 1 in 7 children in the area not having enough food to eat, the BRAFB operates five Child Nutrition programs to address child hunger and family food insecurity, including the Family BackPack program at two schools in Waynesboro (William Perry and Wenonah Elementary Schools) and one in Augusta County (Craigsville Elementary School), where at least 50% or more of their students receive free and reduced-price school lunches through the National School Lunch Program.
Research has shown that a child who doesn’t have enough to eat experiences significant developmental impairments in areas like language and motor skills, and that students without adequate nourishment have more social and behavioral problems in school–and that those problems do not abate (and may worsen) as they grow older. Providing the foundation of 13 family sized meals over a weekend encourages families to share meals together and relieves some of the stress of a family living with limited means, and struggling to pay bills, if they can supplement their budget with food.
Primary Activities: Their primary activity is hunger relief. They distribute food through their 212 partner agencies (food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters) and in rural areas, at their Mobile Food Pantry sites. In addition, the BRAFB distributes food through Child Nutrition Programs such as Kids Café, Family BackPack, Summer Kid Packs, Summer Feeding and the Gus Bus Neighborhood Produce Market; a Senior Nutrition Program called Reach; and Nutrition Education Programs such as Super Pantry, Mini Markets and Walk the Line.
Constituents Served: They serve all people who need food. Their service region covers 25 counties and 8 cities on either side of the Blue Ridge through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester and their headquarters in Verona. They provide nutritious food to 105,100 people each month through a far-reaching network of 212 food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, churches and other nonprofit groups and via their six outreach programs. An estimate of age breakdown of their clients is 30% youth (age 0-18), 11% seniors (60+) and 59% adults.
Program Details: The BRAFB is requesting funds for distribution of family food bags to approximately 211 households (540 children and 386 adults = 926 individuals) participating in the Family BackPack Program at Wenonah, William Perry, and Craigsville Elementary Schools in Waynesboro and Augusta County during the 2018-2019 school year. The goal of the Family BackPack Program is to ensure that all children at risk of hunger in each family have adequate food for times when students are out of school and cannot access school-based feeding programs.
Amount Requested: $10,000
Operating Budget: $7,900,000