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Food bank hearing set

A public hearing taking place during Tuesday’s Cumberland County Board of Supervisors meeting will address leasing county property for the Cumberland Community Cares (CCC) Food Bank.

Kevin Ingle

The property is located at 1550 Anderson Highway behind the Virginia Tech Extension Office.

Doris Seal with the CCC gave a presentation during October’s board of supervisors meeting, noting that the location and a recent grant awarded to the organization would enable its volunteers to better serve members of the community who experience food insecurity or who lack transportation.

Seal said that the county is considered a food desert, a term defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a locality where a substantial portion of the population has little access to a grocery store or where the nearest grocery store in rural areas is more than 10 miles away.

Seal and the board packet cited statistics that 16.7 percent of community members are considered food insecure at any given time.

Seal noted, too, that while some are eligible for food assistance programs, they are unable to visit grocery stores because they lack transportation or may have disabilities that prevent them from driving long distances.

She added that FeedMore received a $100,000 grant from BJ’s Wholesale Club and that the CCC will be one of several food banks in Virginia to benefit from the program.

The CCC was also awarded a $3,500 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to the board packet.

She said the CCC will receive a commercial refrigerator and freezer to use and that a more permanent location will better help the CCC support people in the area.

Board Chairman Kevin Ingle commended the CCC for its work.

“I know from being on the Social Services Board how critical food availability is to families who just can’t quite make it 30 days a month,” Ingle said. “I admire you all for what you all are doing.”