Second Harvest Food Bank Appeals To Public

Salem, VA - Feeding America Southwest Virginia is under a difficult deadline in a difficult time.

The Salem-based non-profit is pulling in more food than ever before... but the demand keeps growing.

Because Feeding America Southwest Virginia is facing a handful of different, but related, issues that need to be tackled soon they need to raise a lot of cash to keep from cutting services.

When you are bringing in 57% more food this year than in 2008 one could envision that things at Feeding America Southwest Virginia were going great.

However costs of that food, and costs to distribute it, have also gone up - on top of that 57% growth - making last year's fundraising reality of 1.3 million dollars seem like a deal compared to the 2,000,000needed this year.

"We want to be able to sustain the level of service and level of food we provide our partner agencies. That's why we're making sure we are ahead of the curve in making the public aware," said John Shoulders, Vice President of Business Affairs for Feeding America Southwest Virginia.

The reach of this food bank goes across 26counties and 10 cities in our area; from the New River Valley to Danville.

"What we do... It's a help to them get through a tight spot. Get them through an emergency time. To help with their children or even the elderly," said Lee Sarver who volunteer's with Radford-based, Helping Hands Foundation.

Then there are the unknowns.

Federal dollars have been gradually slowing that offset costs of distributing federally provided food.

And then there's the big question mark many federally assisted non-profits have: What are the effects of sequestration?

"That reimbursement is being hit again because of sequestration. Even the Department of Agriculture individuals have not been able to define the level of decline we are going to see. So we know that that's going to impact us; the amount is still uncertain," said Shoulders.

It's important to note that while more food is coming in... it is still much less than the overall demand.

Krogers is also pitching in - trying to get people motivated to help at stores from Smith Mountain Lake to Bristol.

The company plans on matching community donations up to $20,000 dollars.

Just ask to round up your final bill at the checkout... or you can even ask to add a dollar or two.