Danville Food Stamp Participants Up; Fundraiser Tuesday

Danville, VA - If you want to dine out Tuesday in Danville, you can help a good cause. God's Storehouse is having their biggest fundraiser of the year.

Local restaurants will be donating a part of their profits to the food pantry.

God's Storehouse is already serving more people this year than they were at the same time last year. They also have a 20% increase in what they expect to spend this year from last.

Main Street Coffee Emporium looks forward to the one day a year they serve up some charity with their coffee.

"It's an opportunity for us to give back to the community," said Leisa Royster, owner of Main Street Coffee Emporium.

For the third year in a row, they will participate in 'Eat Out to Help Out', a fundraiser for God's Storehouse.

"People come specifically for that purpose," said Royster.

Thirty local restaurants will donate 10% of their profits Tuesday to the largest food bank in Danville.

People say the money is needed now more than ever.

"It's money that is coming into God's Storehouse that keeps us operating and keeps us running," said Karen Harris, executive director of God's Storehouse.

According to Slate Magazine, 30% of Danville residents participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. That's up 141% since 2000.

God's Storehouse can't help but notice the increase. In 2002, they gave out about 5,500 boxes of food to SNAP participants. One decade later, that number has risen to more than 18,000.

"I think due to just the high unemployment that we have in this area and even if people do get jobs, they are not high-paying jobs," said Harris.

Another reason could be the increase in the cost of utilities, medical bills, and other necessities.

"It's a great feeling. We look forward to it from one year to the next," said Royseter.

Last year, God's Storehouse made more than $7,000 from the fundraiser. This year, they hope to raise even more.

For more information on God's Storehouse, click here.