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AARP Food Drive Nets More Than 70 Tons of Food

Individuals and groups across the state teamed up for the food drive September 9-15 by hosting 325 collection sites – more than double the 2011 number. The Federation of Virginia Food Banks, AmeriCorps programs and local food pantries staffed 127 sites and collected more than 46,000 pounds of food.

See Also: Drive to End Hunger

Many of the most successful collection events were in front of grocery stores – with groups reporting food collection ranging from 500 to more than 12,000 pounds. The Petersburg TRIAD teamed up with the Petersburg Sheriff’s Department to collected 9,188 pounds of food by stationing volunteers outside the local Wal-Mart store. Spotsylvania TRIAD and the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Department collected 5,845 pounds of food plus $2,209 in cash (equaling 6,627 pounds of food) for a total of 12,472 pounds. The Spotsylvania team set up outside grocery stores and Sheriff’s department cadets served as volunteers.

According to an AARP survey released in September 2012, 72 percent of Virginians believe hunger is an important issue in the state. An even larger number – 82 percent – said they were willing to donate food if asked.

AARP Chapters, Virginia Retired Teacher Association Unites and Ruritan Clubs hosted 31 collection sites each, while TRIAD groups staffed another 33. Faith-based organizations provided another 44 places where food could be donated; AARP volunteers set up 17 sites on their own. Partners in Aging staffed another 11 collection sites.

More than 41,000 pounds of food was made possible by cash donations of $13,675, because $1 donated to a food bank nets three pounds of food for needy families.

Nearly 6 percent of seniors in Virginia are at risk of hunger; more than 17% of Virginians have reported that there had been times in the past 12 months when they did not have enough money to buy food.

AARP Virginia has been holding a statewide food drive for four years. AARP Virginia teamed up with AmeriCorps Virginia, Federation of Virginia Food Banks, Ruritan and TRIAD for the 2012 food drive.

If your organization would like to be involved in the 2013 food drive, please contact Brian Jacks at bjacks@aarp.org.

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