February 11, 2021

Department of Human Services to Host Drive-Thru Food Pantry on Feb. 23

The Virginia Beach Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, will hold a drive-thru food pantry for Virginia Beach residents at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23 in parking lot at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, 3550 Cellar Door Way. The pantry will distribute fresh food on a first-come, first-served basis until 2 p.m., or until supplies have been exhausted, whichever occurs first.

Attendees are asked to enter the line through Dam Neck Road by way of Princess Anne Road. Signs and volunteers will direct traffic to the loading stations. Participants are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times to limit person-to-person contact. A photo ID will be necessary to verify Virginia Beach residency. Staff and volunteers, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, will load the groceries into the trunks or rear storage areas of participating vehicles.

To limit handling the food, pantry items will be prepacked into bags containing a mix of fresh and shelf-stable foods such as fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy products, frozen meats, canned goods, and some staple items such as pasta, sugar and flour. No substitutions are allowed.

"The ongoing pandemic has impacted families and individuals in our community in many ways, including difficulty with putting food on their tables," said DHS Director Aileen L. Smith. "We welcome and appreciate the ongoing support from our partners with the Foodbank to provide households with access to fresh, healthy food."

"The high turnout from our previous drive-thru pantry event signals the continued urgent need for food assistance among individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, president and CEO, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. "We are pleased to partner with DHS, along with our 68 feeding partners in Virginia Beach, to ensure the most vulnerable residents have access to healthy and nutritious food during this public health crisis and beyond."

On Oct. 20, 2020 the Virginia Beach City Council voted to provide an $8 million grant to launch the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership, which the United Way of South Hampton Roads is managing, to engage other local nonprofits, such as the Foodbank, to provide relief to Virginia Beach residents. This drive-thru food pantry is a direct result of that partnership. At our event in December, 750 households were served in less than three hours. Other relief measures included in the grant provide assistance for small businesses and individuals/families as well as workforce development programs.

For the latest information, please visit emergency.vbgov.com/coronavirus and follow us on facebook.com/CityofVaBeach, twitter.com/CityofVaBeach and instagram.com/cityofvabeach.

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