CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – COVID-19 has made it hard for people like Faye Akers to afford food.
“I had to make a choice between rent or food, and you have to have someplace to live,” Akers said. “I’ve been homeless before, and I don’t want to go that route again.”
Akers did not have to make that choice. Feeding Southwest Virginia gave away 500 bundles of groceries at Christiansburg High School on Friday, and Akers waited for two hours as the first person in line.
“I wish they could do this every week, but I know they have to be all over the place,” Akers said. “This virus has done a doozy on us.”
The line for food snaked all across the high school parking lot. Volunteers loaded food in the backs of the cars while the drivers remained in place.
Feeding Southwest Virginia President Pamela Irvine said the turnout demonstrated to her that there is an immense need for food in the New River Valley.
“When your entire organization depends on the generosity of others, you worry about what you’re going to do to help people in your communities,” Irvine said.
Irvine said she is grateful to have enough food for the hundreds of people who came. Feeding Southwest Virginia’s pantry reached dangerously low levels two weeks ago, but it has been restocked thanks to donations.
“We can sleep at night,” Irvine said. “Our organization means something to a lot of people…not just to those who need food, but to those who give.”
Akers said the food she received will go a long way.
“I usually go without food so my family can eat or my neighbors can eat,” Akers said. “Sometimes I feed five people, sometimes I feed a lot more than that.”
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