HAMPTON, Va. — As food banks across the county see a big strain on their resources due to the coronavirus pandemic, local officials say as they approach the holiday season, they're expecting the need to persist.
Food insecurity remains a big problem, and the coronavirus crisis hasn't helped.
Director of Development at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank Donna Tighe said thousands of people found themselves in need of assistance for the first time when the pandemic hit.
This spike, on top of the usual families who receive assistance throughout the year, put a strain on the food bank's resources.
"Hunger lives in all pockets of our community and with the onset of the virus that came back in March, a lot of people have never heard of a food bank, and never had to reach out to a food bank before, and now more than ever they need our help," she said.
"Not knowing where their next meal is coming from, living paycheck to paycheck, a lot of them still out of work, or their hours have been cut because of the pandemic."
September is Hunger Action Month. Tighe says it's all about raising awareness.
But she added, the community's focus on the problem shouldn't fade when the month is over.
As we approach the holiday season, Tighe says her team continues to work to make sure no family goes hungry.
"Even though it is September Hunger Action Month, hunger still lives throughout the months each day in our community," she said.
"Being still in the middle of the pandemic, we are going into the holiday season and we want to make sure those families who have been through these stressful times, have a good holiday Thanksgiving meal."
They need your help. Financial assistance goes a long way, but there are other ways you can help.
"For every dollar, you can provide the equivalent of four meals," she said. "We ask people to share their time, come out and volunteer."