Mission: The Verona Community Food Pantry’s (VCFP) mission is to provide nutritious foods to neighbors in need in Augusta County, and the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro.
Community Need: In the communities of Augusta County, Waynesboro, and Staunton, there is an income threshold which many families are unable to exceed despite working several jobs, combining multiple generations in one household, and taking advantage of every program available to them. These families who are food insecure, often with medical problems, and while employed, have no benefits and are living in a constant state of stress. Families in this situation spend first on housing, medical, children’s schooling, and commuting and what’s left will be spent on food. To the extent food pantries, including VCFP, can help these families secure good nutritious food at no cost, they are obligated to do so. They have not seen the client load drop below 1,200 families per month in several years and do not expect to drop below that number any time soon.
Constituents Served: Any individual or family living below the poverty line as defined by the USDA and residing in Augusta County, and the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro are eligible for service at the Verona Community Food Pantry. The VCFP provides food to their clients through the operation of the largest food pantry in the Shenandoah Valley. Families qualify for support if their income is at or below the poverty level as defined by the USDA. In 2017, an average of 1,270 families were aided each month. Over 2,253,000 pounds of food was distributed to these food insecure families.
Primary Activities: Goals: Their Board of Directors are fearful that the governments: will not expand Medicaid, which could give their clients more money to apply to food purchase, and in order to reduce spending at the federal level will cut SNAP, eliminate WIC, and drastically cut USDA spending. This will lead to an increased demand for their services. Therefore, they have increased the budget for the purchase of food. More fund raising will be needed. They see the organization’s greatest accomplishment as providing food to an average of 1,300 families each month which amounted to the distribution of 1,878,000 meals.
Until sometime in the future when hunger has been eliminated in Augusta County, their strategy will always be to continue to support neighbors in need by sharing nutritious food with them.
Amount Requested: $10,000
Operating Budget: $117,300