Posted: 11.01.21 12:00 AM
Charity of the Month: Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
When November rolls around and the holiday season is here, for many this means tables full of plenty. But for others, food is scarce and nutrition is desperately needed. Because of that, we’re glad to donate 20% of November’s online sales profits to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB), whose mission is to eradicate hunger.
The story of food banks starts over forty years ago, when they emerged in major U.S. metropolitan areas, but not in rural areas. It was a popularly held belief that rural communities didn’t struggle with hunger as much as the big cities because of their agricultural potential. However, Phil Grasty, who would become BRAFB’s Executive Director for 19 years, experienced a different reality in his native, rural community, and set out to trailblaze a new kind of food distribution program.
What began as an experiment in 1981 has now become a steady and sprawling operation in all corners of the Blue Ridge Mountains, representing 25 counties and 8 cities. With four distribution warehouses, the BRAFB is a member of Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger relief agency in the U.S. BRAFB partners with hundreds of agencies, from local food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, churches, and shelters, to operating mobile distribution and many other outreach programs, all with a goal of eliminating hunger in the rural areas it serves.
Since 1 out of every 12 neighbors is experiencing hunger in their service area, the BRAFB serves 118,300 people every month. Food drives make up only 1 percent of their total supply, so this incredible number of people are fed nutritious food primarily by financial support from donors.
To help this organization continue its important work, consider purchasing a Wind River chime during the month of November, knowing that 20% of the profits will feed hungry people with the food they need, and with hope, this holiday season.