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ALIVE! food drive aims to collect 30,000 pounds of food this month

Volunteers sort food at ALIVE! (Photo via ALIVE!/Facebook)

As the number of Alexandrians needing food assistance keeps rising, Volunteer Alexandria is asking residents to donate toward the first ever city-wide food drive.

Volunteer Alexandria has a goal to collect 30,000 pounds of canned food items by July 28 for ALIVE!‘s food bank.

“Hunger does not take a summer break and we thank everyone for donating cans and for volunteering to support this month-long food drive,” said Volunteer Alexandria Executive Director Marion Brunken. “Our goal is that this initiative becomes an annual event in the summer.”

Donations to local food banks usually dry up in the summer months, said ALIVE! Executive Director Jenn Ayers.

“Right now our service numbers are very high,” Ayers said. “We’re serving nearly 5,000 households per month through all our food programs (distributions, pop-ups, pantries and ALIVE! food hubs). At the peak of the pandemic we served about 6,000 households.  Last year this time we were down to about 3,000 households, so the need for food is still very high.”

Pre-pandemic, ALIVE! served about 400 households per month, Ayers said.

Ayers also said that financial donations are welcome, as last fiscal year the nonprofit spent about $550,000 in $1,000 payments to more than 500 families. Now with funds all used up, she says that the need is growing.

“We think people are really having trouble just making ends meet, what with inflation, the rising cost of living, increased rent, and all of that having an impact on food security,” she said. “We’re also seeing a higher number of people calling for support with rent or trying to prevent eviction, as well as seeking food. So so it’s all compounded together.”

ALIVE! needs:

  • Canned meat and fish
  • Canned vegetables and fruits
  • Canned beans
  • Cooking oil in plastic bottles

There are 16 food donation collection points:

The food drive is sponsored by Ting Internet, Fitness Together, and the Rotary Club of Alexandria.

The next ALIVE! food distributions will be held Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. at William Ramsay Recreation Center (5700 Sanger Avenue), and on Friday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Old Town Community Church (212 S. Washington Street).

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