Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB)
PO Box 937
Verona, Virginia 24482
|Primary Contact||Karen Ratzlaff|
|Executive Director||Michael McKee|
|Primary Focus Area||Hunger/Housing/Poverty|
Our mission is to provide nourishing food to our neighbors in need through vibrant community partnerships and passionate public support.
St the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank we are driven by our core beliefs that hunger is unacceptable; that everyone deserves access to enough food; that food sustains life and nourishes health; and that we are called to serve neighbors in need without judgment.
We were founded in 1981 in Staunton, VA by a 5-member board, including the man who would become the first Executive Director, Phil Grasty. By the end of the first year, the Food Bank distributed 233,000 pounds of food to the hungry through 202 member agencies in 18 counties along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At that point in time, our work was considered a “major experiment in food banking” because of the rural nature of our service area.
As the need for emergency food assistance grew in other areas of the Blue Ridge region, the Food Bank expanded and relocated to a new facility in Verona, VA, now the headquarters of the organization. Three other branches were established in Charlottesville, Winchester and Lynchburg between 1982 and 1985.
Today we serve 25 counties and 8 cities on either side of the Blue Ridge through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester and our headquarters in Verona. We provide nutritious food to 105,100 people each month through a far-reaching network of 212 food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, churches and other nonprofit groups.
We are members of Feeding America, a national organization supporting more than 200 food banks across the country, and the largest domestic hunger relief agency in the U.S. We are also members of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, an association of the seven food banks in Virginia.
|Title:||Charitable Food Assistance for Neighbors in Need|
|Description:||The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank distributes food to individuals and families in need in 25 counties and 8 cities on either side of the Blue Ridge mountains. Through a network of 212 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters, we currently serve an average of 110,000 individuals each month (unduplicated). In addition, we serve more than 8,315 school children and 2,000 seniors each year through some of our child and senior nutrition programs.|
|Examples of Program Success:||In fiscal year 2017 we distributed more than 25.3 million pounds of food - the equivalent of more than 21.1 million meals. 6.2 million of those pounds was fresh produce, distributed through partner agencies and our Mobile Food Pantry sites.|
|Total Program Budget:||$7,900,000|
|Category:||Food, Hunger Relief, Children, Seniors|
|Title:||Mobile Food Pantry|
|Description:||For individuals in need in rural communities, food assistance services are often limited due to a lack of storage space, volunteer support, and funding. To meet the high need for this help in rural communities, in 2011 the Food Bank launched the Mobile Food Pantry. |
Resembling a beverage truck, the mobile pantry carries food for distribution to under-served communities in southern Albemarle, Bath, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Orange counties. On average the mobile pantry is serving more than 3500 people each month. The Food Bank distributes more than 1,000,000 pounds of food at the Charlottesville service region sites, over half of that was fresh produce.
The Food Bank has a range of sponsorship and funding opportunities for businesses, organizations, and individuals to help ensure we can continue this essential service. Please contact us if you are interested in making a difference and getting involved.
|Total Program Budget:||$175,000|
|Category:||Food, Hunger Relief, Rural Communities|