Food bank opens mobile food pantry in Norfolk food desert


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore has added a location for its mobile food pantry to fill the need in a food desert in a Norfolk community.

Earlier this summer, the Save-A-Lot grocery store closed in the St. Paul’s neighborhood making it a food desert.

Since, residents have stepped up to help others. That community action inspired the local food bank to take action.

“Since the closure of the Save-A-Lot, there has been real emphasis on the community coming together for an opportunity for the neighbors to get fresh, nutritious items,” said Sara Throckmorton, who is a volunteer team leader for the food bank.

Throckmorton has volunteered for the food bank for seven years and loves being able to help.

“One of the best things about working with the foodbank is knowing that what I’m doing — and helping other people do — there is [making] a difference for folks in our community,” she said. “Access to food and fresh, nutritious items is important to me and I know to everybody at the food bank. Everyone who works there is filled with the mission and hope for transforming this community.”

Throckmorton says the food bank has seen an unprecedented need for help, not just locally but all across the country, and they’re grateful to be able to at least ease one burden for people.

“If people know there’s food on the table for their children, they can concentrate on staying healthy, doing their job, finding a job on all the other things that need to come into play. There are so many pieces that need to come together and having food for your family is such a weight off your back,” she said.

But to help with this increased need, the food bank also needs help.

“With unprecedented need comes unprecedented opportunities to help,” she said.

Throckmorton says many of the regular volunteers have had to stay home because they’re at-risk during the coronavirus pandemic, so they’re in need of people to volunteer their time as well as donate money to help.

The mobile food pantry in the St. Paul’s area is held from 9 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. the second and fourth Friday of every month.

To learn more or donate, click here.

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