Blue Ridge Area Foodbank (2018)

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB)

Verona, Va.

Established in 1981, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in western and central Virginia. In 2017, BRAFB distributed 25.3 million pounds of food, including 6.3 million pounds of fresh produce, to individuals living in 25 counties and 8 cities. Monthly, 1,306 seniors are served through the outreach programs in the Shenandoah Valley and 2,815 in the Winchester area.

The 2018 grant of $10,000 to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank was directed to the “Reach Program” which provided an additional 100 low-income seniors, per month, with age-appropriate, shelf stable food. Through the Mobile Food Pantry, older adults received foods including fortified grains, foods with reduced salt and sugar, and foods that are nutritionally dense to help maintain energy and physical well-being.

One woman, who had lived in Bath County, Virginia, and had been a Reach Program participant, was diagnosed dementia, forcing her to move to be closer to her caregiver. To her delight, she found that the Reach Program could continue to serve her in her new community, and she was able once again connect with the same staff she had known for years. Seeing her again had a significant impact on a staff member, who realized that the Reach Program helps “nurture a profound human need for connecting to others and reducing in one small way the social isolation so many people experience as they grow old.”

To learn more about Blue Ridge Area Food Bank visit: