NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — After weeks of collecting, volunteers of the World Mission Society Church of God in Newport News loaded nearly 4,000 pounds of non-perishable food items in preparation for delivery to the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank on Wednesday.

Volunteers came from Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Hampton, and Newport News to participate in the food drive which started Dec. 13. The volunteers collected donations at work, by tabling, and going door-to-door.

“We try not to just be in the community, but a part of the community,” said Brian, a Church of God volunteer. “As people we all have to unite and take care of each other. With something as small as a food drive, we hope that it can help in a large way in allowing those who need it to feel they are cared for, and give others a beautiful example of how to show that every little bit counts.”  

“If this goes out to help one person just one person then it was worth it,” said Brian Bourland, one of the volunteers with the church working to deliver donated items to the food bank. “In these times, we want to spread the love of our heavenly mother and despite the Covid 19 we were able to collect two and a half tons of the food,” he said.

The church joined forces with the Virginia Peninsula Food Bank to help support local food pantries experiencing shortages as a result of the pandemic.  

“It’s not just about us knowing, they know that the community is supporting them because they are getting food and I think that is just really comforting to families as they struggle,” said Tracy Hansbrough, community engagement coordinator for The Virginia Peninsula Food Bank.

“Knowing somebody out there, somebody in their own community is doing something to make sure that they are ok and that their family is ok is just really important,” she continued.  

According to an article published by CNBC in November 2020, 40% of Americans have reported food insecurity since the beginning of the pandemic. Although food shortages aren’t a new challenge for many, the demand has only increased in recent months.

As a result, food pantries have also experienced shortages in food, leaving the community vulnerable.  

Leaders with the organization say for collecting donations during a pandemic, they are proud of what they came up with.

“Allowing them the ability to cook for their children, their parents, their loved ones, even if it’s a small meal, it’s just really important,” Hansbrough explained.

If you’d like more information on their organization click here or how to donate click here.