Pittsylvania Co., VA-- For the past 17 years a group of people on the Southside have been dedicated to providing needy families with meals.Because of their outstanding community service throughout the years, they were awarded $50,000 by the Danville Regional Foundation last week. They said this award came at a perfect time.
They've been operating out of an old church for years and are bursting at the seams. This award will help renovate a warehouse for them, so they can keep up with demand. For years, a group of volunteers in Pittsylvania County have been getting together every month filling hundreds of these boxes. But it wasn't always that way.
"When I started 10 years ago, we did totally about 105 boxes, maybe 110," said Butch Elko, Warehouse Manager for the Northern Pittsylvania County Food Center.
Now it's more like 400 boxes. The NPCFC operates out of an old church in Chatham. They meet the needs of the less fortunate.
"A lot of our people are elderly and lower income and on Social Security," said Frank Fuller, Vice President of NPCFC They say they're seeing more and more of them.
"The amount of food that I can put in here, the floor may not sustain it any much longer," said Elko.
They've expanded to handing out boxes at the American Legion in Gretna.
"We are standing outside in whatever weather it is, whether it's ice, snow, rain," Elko added.
But they won't have to do that for much longer.
"This new building will afford us to keep everyone inside," Elko said.
The group purchased this building in Gretna last year to serve as their new warehouse.
"This will be the room where we keep all the food," Elko said.
They started renovations a couple of months ago, but now with their new $50,000 boost from the Dan River Foundation's Ashby Award, they can get the center ready a lot sooner than they thought.
"We're really looking forward to it a lot. We're really excited," said Norma Elko, a volunteer with the NPCFC.
The group said they hope to open up the new warehouse this Summer. They will still keep their operation in Chatham as a minor site.