Partnership with Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Expands
In February 2019, Piedmont Housing Alliance held its first food distribution in partnership with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank (BRAFB). We distributed food to 28 residents at the Crozet Meadows community.
Flash forward to August 2019 and that partnership allowed us to distribute food at six sites to 208 residents representing 122 households in the past six months.
Our food distributions have grown by leaps and bounds since the program began. In the first six months of distributions, we served 433 individuals – almost 50% of the individuals living in communities where we distribute food. Of those, 192 individuals are new to the BRAFB system and never received food through it before.
Residents continue to express appreciation and gratitude for bringing the food distributions to their community centers. Removing a commute to a food pantry removes barriers to access – and for some residents, that makes the difference between having food and not.
Statistics from BRAFB reveal that 29% of BRAFB clients are children 18 and under; that tracks with our own observations – 31% of the individuals we have served are children 18 and under. However, we also reach a population that may go otherwise underserved. Among all BRAFB clients, 11% are age 60 or older. But among individuals we have served, almost a third (32%) are 60 or older. With a number of senior properties in our management portfolio, we are uniquely able to serve our senior neighbors where they live.
Our entire community management and maintenance team set aside time every month to sign in residents, fill grocery bags, and even carry the food back to residents’ units. It takes a community effort to strengthen community bonds, and as our program grows – we are adding a site in September, and have plans to expand the scope and scale of our pantry facilities – we will certainly continue to turn to the community for help.
Food distributions also allow members of the larger community to get involved! If you’d like to volunteer, contact Michael Monaco at (434) 825-3132 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a resident at a community managed by Piedmont Housing Alliance, contact Michael for information on upcoming distributions. v�q�