RICHMOND, Va. -- Food banks across the Commonwealth of Virginia have seen an increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, some relief in on the way after Governor Ralph Northam announced Monday that Virginia will allocate $7 million in CARES Act funding.
This comes after the state committed $1.4 million in CARES Act funding to help Virginia food banks in July.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the already serious problem of food insecurity in Virginia and across the country,” said Governor Northam. “This funding will help Virginia food banks and other food assistance programs meet the increased demand for their services and ensure every Virginian has continued access to nutritious food during these challenging times.”
An increase in food insecurity during the pandemic has largely stemmed from high unemployment rates and furloughs and decreases in income that families are experiencing.
Feeding America estimates that up to 275,000 more Virginians may experience food insecurity in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a governor's office release.
The new CARES Act funding will help the Federation of Virginia Food Banks purchase fresh food and dairy products, filling an expected gap caused by the end of the federal Farmers to Families Food Box program and a severe drop in commodities at the end of the year.
Food banks can also use the money to purchase shelf-stable commodities and address storage, refrigeration, and transportation issues.