With many bare shelves, food banks hope for donations during Mayflower Marathon


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The donation section of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has many bare shelves.

COVID-19 has impacted many families, as well as the community’s ability to donate. But both the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore are hoping a big annual food drive will bring in some needed donations. The 24th annual Mayflower Marathon happens this weekend.

The FM99/106.9 The Fox’s event benefits all area foodbanks. It runs from Friday through Sunday.

“It’s very important that we have a successful food drive. The weather’s looking good for Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said Karen Joyner, chief executive officer of the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank.

Items can be donated at the following locations:

  • Kroger, 5007-2 Victory Boulevard, Tabb location: Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Kroger, 1050 W. Mercury Boulevard, Hampton location: Friday 5:30 a.m. through Sunday until 3 p.m. (around the clock)
  • Kroger, 1017 University Boulevard, Suffolk location: Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Pembroke Mall, 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach location. All weekend in the parking lot toward the back of the mall. 

Joyner says this year will be different because of coronavirus. If you donate, you don’t even have to get out of your car.

“We’ll have volunteers and staff there to open your trunk and take out whatever you want to donate, and it’s our biggest food drive of the year,” she said.

Dr. Ruth Jones Nichols, the president and CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore says that when it comes to donations, think about those staple items you would want on your table, but also healthy options.

“If they give food, give healthy nutritious food. So that for that individual, that’s [not] making a difficult tradeoff between food and medication to manage their diabetes or hypertension. That’s one less thing they have to worry about during this holiday season,” said Jones Nichols.

Joyner says they are in need of Thanksgiving-type foods, too. She says they have sweet potatoes and come canned vegetables, but need much more to help as many families as they can.

The Mayflower Marathon starts early Friday morning and goes through Sunday.

For more details, visit the food drive web page.

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