By Carol Vaughn — Officials from both organizations were on hand last Tuesday at the Foodbank in Tasley for the presentation of a $25,000 donation made by Perdue Farms to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
The money is for the foodbank’s school backpack program.
The program serves around 3,600 children across 65 schools, including seven on the Eastern Shore.
The backpack program provides 16,524 meals for 152 children attending public elementary schools in the region, according to a press release.
The backpacks each contain six healthy, child-friendly meals and are handed out discreetly to participating children at the schools, according to Christopher Tan, president and chief executive officer of the foodbank.
Along with the check, Perdue delivered 10,000 pounds of chicken to the foodbank.
The grant from the Franklin P. And Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the company’s charitable giving entity, and the chicken donation are part of a Perdue initiative called Delivering Hope to our Neighbors.
Kim Nechay, executive director of the Perdue Foundation, praised the foodbank for its work, saying, “Backpack food delivery programs are an important cornerstone program of the foodbank’s efforts to address childhood hunger. We believe none of our neighbors should go hungry, so helping provide food each weekend to children facing food insecurity through this wonderful program is a meaningful investment.”
“For 40 years, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore has pursued a mission of leading the effort to eliminate hunger in our community,” Tan said, adding, “We’re grateful to partners like Perdue Farms who provide the necessary nutrition and financial support to help us feed those in need in our community.”
Since the foodbank’s incorporation in 1981, it has distributed more than 360 million meals in southeastern Virginia and on the Eastern Shore.
An average of 15 million meals a year has been distributed in the past five years.