Oct 15 2008
June 30th marked the conclusion of our fiscal year at the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, and we are pleased to report that, with the community’s help, we distribute 9,468,890 pounds of food for FY 2007-2008. To put this into context, this poundage amount was enough food to provide 7,397,570 meals tot he 16,000 plus people living on the Peninsula that ma need food assistance in any given week fom the Foodbank and our network of 245 community service providers.
Although these numbers are amazing, and represent an 11% increase over the 8,552,932 pounds of food which we distribute last year, it is still not enough to continue to meet our increasing demand for the services which your community Foodbank provides to our neighbors in need. This should come as a surprise to any of us, as the economic situation we find ourselves in as members of a family, a region and as a nation continue to remain bleak. Four dollar a gallon gasoline, 47 million of us without medical insurance, rapidly increasing food prices, rising unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, bank failures, woes on Wall Street- the list of challenges facing all of us seem to grow every day- and many experts are prognosticating that we have not yet reached bottom.
As Americans, we have storied and proud history of responding to adversity. Families are canceling or shortening trips to see loved ones adn going on vacation, we travel much less in our automobiles, we are cutting back on or ceasing to eat out, and we search for lower caost alternatives to many of the items which we wold have purchased with little or no forethought just a year or so ago. Overall, it seems that everyone you talk to is tightening their collective belts to make ends meet
I wish for you to know that for every dollar that we receive, the Foodbank is able to provide over eleven dollars of food and hope to our neighbors in need, which includes 50,000 need children, senior citizens and members of working families struggling to make ends meet each day on the Peninsula, lamentably because of the fact tha they live at or below the poveryt level. Additionally, over 70,000 more of our neighbors living right here on teh Peninsula are at risk of finding themselves thrust into food insecurity becausethey qualify for one of the many forms of Federal Food Assistance. As we prepare to meet this year’s challenges, your continued support of the Foodbank is sincerely appreciated, as hunger and need continue to grow. There is prehaps no greater basic human need than food and sustenance; however your generosity represents more than just the food for the hungry- it instills hope. Hope for hard working citizens, under extreme pressure to provide food for their families, paycheck to paycheck. Hope for those in the community who are victims of hard economic times, corporate downsizing and lay-offs. Hope for people making critical decisions on whether they pay for medicine, rent, heat or food. Hope for seniors, kids-people of all ages- who are suffering from hunger and need in out community. Throught no fault of their own, nearly 40 % of those at greatest risk of food insecurity are children that face not only long and lean winters, but trying times throughout the year, especially when school is out and they cannot avail of school breakfast and lunch programs. Regrettably, hunger and need know no season.
Here atg the Foodbank we are very cognizant of these hardships and challenges. Before the current economic downturn, our resources were already stretched to the limit. Regrettably in tough times, demand for food goes up, and donated resources to meet the demand falls off. Our stewardship of the budgeting process for our new fiscal year taken this into account- with little or no growth being forecast for revenues and contributions, and much more (25 to 30 percent) increases being projected for freight, fuel and food acquisition costs. Correspondingly, we have planned to tighten our belt without compromising on quality services and food safety. Our consuming worry is that we have budgeted enough to meet this year’s demands- and our underlying hope is that we can continue to rely on the support of our contributors adn benefactors to meet the need. In these trying times, every pound of food, every dollar, every hour volunteered, will help us to make a difference and address the adversity we face collectively as a community, a region and as a nation. Being part or the food and fur drive held at Port Warwick on Saturday, November1st, is a great way to become involved in helping us to ” feed the need.”
Stephen P. Terveer, CEO
Foodbank of Virginia Peninsula
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