Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spotlight on Hunger: WYCD Interviews FeedMore in Central Virginia.

This holiday season, What You Can Do is teaming up with Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen to help raise awareness and fight hunger in New York City. As 1 in every 5 New Yorkers face hunger, Holy Apostles plays a crucial role in providing food, support and hope to people in need.  

The What You Can Do team is based in New York, so we have the opportunity to collaborate with many organizations inspiring change throughout our city. Since fans watch What You Can Do from around the world, we thought this holiday season would be a good time to highlight different perspectives on hunger. More than 49 million Americans face hunger today, with over 15 million of that number being children. 

We interviewed representatives from food banks and hunger organizations across the country and in Canada, asking about involvement in their communities, services they offer, trends they are seeing in their communities etc. 

Our sixth spotlight is on FeedMore, a hunger relief organization servicing the Central Virginia region. 

An interview with Jeff Baldwin, Media and Public Relations Manager for FeedMore, in Richmond Virginia.

WYCD:  Please tell us a little about your organization and the community that you serve.

FeedMore is Central Virginia’s core hunger-relief organization made up of the Central Virginia Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Community Kitchen. The FeedMore programs provide hunger relief to our region’s most vulnerable populations, particularly children, families and seniors. FeedMore serves 31 counties and 5 cities in Virginia.

WYCD:  How long have you been in operation?

FeedMore was created on July 1, 2008 with the merger of the Central Virginia Food Bank and Meals on Wheels Serving Central Virginia. As the new organization was born, an unprecedented economic downturn brought a challenging combination of limited financial resources for nonprofits across the country, as well as historic increases in demand for services. The FeedMore merger was timely, for by working together, the Food Bank and Meals on Wheels maximized efficiencies and available resources to better serve those in need.

WYCD:  What types of services do you provide to your community?

FeedMore offers hunger-relief programs such as our Central Virginia Food Bank, which partners with a network of 360 agencies (food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc.); our Meals on Wheels program, which delivers freshly prepared, nutritious meals to 1,000 of our region's homebound and elderly population, our Children’s Programs; such as Kids Cafe, which is a network of over 60 after-school meal and snack sites, and the BackPack Program, which provides weekend meals to 2,000 chronically hungry children each week.

WYCD: Which services are the most popular and why do you think that is? 

All of our programs at FeedMore are very active. In Central Virginia, 206,770 individuals are food-insecure, meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from. This number includes nearly 51,000 children and represents nearly 14% of the entire population.

WYCD:  Have the overall numbers of visitors changed in the last few years?

We don’t really have visitors per say. We serve our partners through our Central Virginia Food Bank, who in turn serve clients. We also serve clients directly through our Meals on Wheels and Children’s Programs.

WYCD:  Has the demographic of your visitors changed over the last several years?

No. Hunger does not discriminate. 

WYCD:  What are the most prevalent issues in your community, and do you feel that this reflects the current trends around the region?

Hunger is a real issue facing most communities throughout the country and Central Virginia is not immune.

WYCD:  If you have volunteers, are you finding more people involved in helping out, and does it fluctuate throughout the year?

FeedMore relies on a team of 250 volunteers to operate each and every day, so while we always have a wonderful team, we are in constant need for new faces and talents.

WYCD:  Do you have special requests for the types of food/meals that you provide?

We are always in need of donated non-perishable foods high in protein, such as peanut butter, canned meats and fish, cereals, pastas, canned vegetables and canned fruits.

WYCD:  What are easy ways that your community can help out your organization even if they only have one minute of time to give? What if they have one hour to give?

The easiest way to help FeedMore if you only have one minute is to make a secure online donation at www.feedmore.org. At FeedMore, a $5 donation equates to 25 meals, and 98 cents of every dollar supports FeedMore’s programs and services. If someone has an hour to give, we encourage them to become a FeedMore Meals on Wheels volunteer delivery driver. These volunteers are the individuals that deliver the freshly prepared meals to our clients.

We want to send many thanks to Jeff and his team at FeedMore for sharing their insight on hunger in the Central Virginia region with us. As we strive to end hunger across the country, they show us how we can take positive action as individuals and members of our communities. By finding ways to make a difference, one minute at a time, we can help erase hunger in our neighborhoods and around the world.

If you want to learn more about FeedMore and the work that they do, you can visit their website at:  https://feedmore.org

If you want to learn more about Holy Apostles in New York City, you can visit their website at:

To join What You Can Do in the mission to help change the world, one minute at a time,
please visit us at:

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