Food Bank offers turkeys, toys to 500 families Saturday
There have been so many negative aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s encouraging to hear about a positive one: the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank continues to get a lot of food donations as a result of the crisis and is sharing the bounty in a special giveaway.
Because it had more frozen birds for Thanksgiving than it could give away, the Food Bank is offering “Turkey and Toys” during a special drive-thru distribution on Saturday at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers will load up the trunks with holiday goodies for at least 500 families.
No registration or income documentation is required for the event, designed for those who need holiday assistance. Boxes of food, which include a turkey breast or whole turkey, along with milk, produce, chicken and cereal, will be distributed as long as supplies last, according to the Food Bank. The distribution also includes a limited supply of toys.
The facility initially asked for volunteers to help with the distribution, but by this week, all slots were filled. United Healthcare, which helped support the event financially, also provided some manpower and others have signed up to help, said Dan Maher, president and CEO of the Food Bank.
“This sort of thing is very appealing to our volunteers,” he said. “It’s a great way to give back at the end of the year and for them to get some holiday cheer for themselves.”
While the Food Bank has had other distributions at the Expo Center, Saturday marks the first time for such a large-scale event, Maher said. Donations to the facility have remained high throughout the pandemic, and Maher said it can be challenging to get the frozen goods and fresh food “out in as timely a fashion as we hope.” Food Bank officials sense the boxes will be needed, especially when so many other prices have risen for items ranging from bread, milk and meat to heating expenses. “The holidays are not a time when hunger spikes significantly, but can be a time that puts pressure on families to stretch themselves financially,” Maher said, hoping the “Turkeys and Toys” event can ease some of that financial strain.
The Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank serves Fredericksburg, Locust Grove and the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline. Each year, it secures and distributes more than 4.7 million pounds of donated food and grocery products, working with more than 160 community partners and operating more than 250 food relief programs. More information about area pantries and the Food Bank’s regularly scheduled drive-thru pantries in the community is available at fredfood.org or 540/371-7666 weekdays. This article was written by reporter Cathy Dyson and originally published in The Free Lance Star on December 14, 2021.