Department of Human Services to Host Drive-Thru Food Pantry on Dec. 22

Department of Human Services to Host Drive-Thru Food Pantry on Dec. 22
December 16, 2020

The Virginia Beach Department of Human Services (DHS), in partnership with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, will host a drive-thru food pantry for Virginia Beach residents at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at the Human Services Administration Building parking lot, 3432 Virginia Beach Blvd. The pantry will distribute fresh food on a first-come, first-served basis. The pantry will run until 2 p.m., or until supplies have been exhausted, whichever occurs first.Volunteers will direct traffic to the loading stations. Participants are asked to remain in their vehicles at all times. 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."Providing families and individuals access to fresh, healthy food is critically important, especially in these difficult times," said DHS Director Aileen L. Smith. "We are thrilled to have this opportunity to collaborate with the Foodbank to offer this much-needed resource as we head into the holiday season.""In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked to establish meaningful partnerships with agencies, such as DHS, that share our commitment to serving individuals experiencing hunger and food insecurity," said Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, President and CEO, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. "This drive-thru food pantry model allows us to extend resources and holiday cheer to our most vulnerable neighbors in Virginia Beach during this time of uncertainty."On Oct. 20, 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. The Dec. 22 drive-thru food pantry is a direct result of that partnership. Other relief measures included in this 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.###