VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore distributed food to more that 1,400 families Tuesday morning during a drive-thru event at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater, just as pandemic-era SNAP benefits are set to expire.
The distribution as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was a lifeline for people who have counted on receiving at least an additional $95 a month, as they have over the past three years.
Less SNAP money, conflated with pesky inflation, means many families will be forced into food insecurity, said David Brandt, the foodbank’s spokesman.
“You have a lot of people who live paycheck to paycheck,” Brandt said. “Before things got a little weird with the economy, they were getting by, but it didn’t take much to push them into the realm of food insecurity.
“There’s a lot of people across the socioeconomic spectrum who are experiencing food insecurity right now because it doesn’t take much. It takes a big medical bill, and HVAC repair, or you car breaks down. It can send your budget haywire.”
Many Foodbank subscribers are feeling the pain at the grocery store.
“Some people are on a fixed income,” said Guy Collins. “How can they afford all the groceries? The prices keep on coming up. If you don’t do something about it, it’s going to get worse.”
Collins and his friend loaded a pickup truck bed with food. They said they’re grateful for the hand-up given grocery prices.
“It’s very expensive,” Collins said. “As a matter of fact, eggs are very expensive, meat’s gone up too. This a great place to come help people out who can’t afford other stuff.”
Brandt said the Foodbank is preparing for tougher times ahead by adding expanding its food sourcing team and being aggressive in securing food.
Want to help?
To learn more or to donate to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, visit foodbankonline.org.