September 10, 2013
Hunger is all around us and it effects one out of every seven people. Starting Wednesday, the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry will during the afternoon to give two more hours of service each week.
With one more day of service, the pantry will now serve a total of four days a week. Pantry leaders hope this will serve more people in the community.
Margaret Burruss, Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, said, "There are people who are not able to come in the evening hours or they prefer to come not after dark. So, it provides other options for our clients. Hopefully, it will put less stress on the other hours we are open so that there will be more options for clients."
Joseph Caputi, Branch Manager of the Thomas Jefferson Branch of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, said, "All of our agencies are growing but not to the degree that Loaves and Fishes is."
Loaves and Fishes is one of the largest food pantries that provides fresh foods to those in the area. That's likely one of the reasons why their numbers have been increasing in the last year.
Burruss said, "I think some of it is people finding out they can get fresh vegetables and so they're coming here. But, every week I am getting people who are calling for the first time."
The pantry has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of people they serve in the past year alone.
Burruss said, "We are really having a lot of need here in our community."
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank provides more than one million pounds of food to Loaves and Fishes each year. But, that's only a small portion of the overall picture.
Caputi said, "We're serving 25,000 people per month in the Charlottesville and eight surrounding counties. We don't see that number going down."
Hunger is an issue that is all around us. One more day of service by the pantry will give more opportunities to help our neighbors.
Caputi said, "It's not that they don't have jobs, it's not that they don't have homes. It's just that they don't have enough to go around and usually food is what has to be substituted."
The Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry serve Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Saturday mornings, and now Wednesday afternoons.
To find out more go to the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry website.