What is Feed More? Prince Edward partnership helps students

Published 9:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2022

FARMVILLE – In Prince Edward County and the surrounding area, 1 out of every 9 people struggle to find food. According to the food bank Feed More, an estimated 50,500 of those, or 1 in every 6, are children. A partnership between the food bank and Prince Edward County Public Schools aims to address that. There’s just one problem: they need more volunteers.

“With everything that is going on right now, the community is in great need,” said Le’Tina Giles, the school district’s family and community engagement coordinator.

Feed Moore was created out of a desire to do something about that need. In 2005, Meals on Wheels of Central Virginia and the Central Virginia Food Bank started a joint project. They built a community kitchen, with the idea of having one location to help produce meals for their clients. Over time, the groups worked more and more together, until officially merging into Feed More in 2008.

Now Feed Moore is a food bank that covers counties and five cities in Central Virginia. That includes Prince Edward, Cumberland, Charlotte and Lunenburg counties. Based out of Richmond, the operation works with more than 250 nonprofit and community partners. These groups set up a location and put out the word that people can come and get food. Feed More provides the supplies, with everything from fresh vegetables to cereal on the menu.

How Feed More works in Prince Edward

In Prince Edward County, the school district sets up on the last Tuesday of the month. Beginning at 4 p.m., people can come get food at Fireman’s Sports Arena, located at 1328 Zion Hill Road in Farmville. Families of Prince Edward County students can drive up in their cars and get a free bag of food. Those who come can remain in their vehicle as a volunteer comes to bring the bag to the car. PECPS has partnered with Feed More to provide these meals since 2020, sparked by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the most recent distribution, the school gave out groceries to 147 families.

“It’s exciting to see these people in need getting help and others wanting to help,” Giles said.

A need for volunteers

Now here’s where the request for help comes in. In order to keep serving these families in need, the school district needs more volunteers. These are people who are willing to help with this monthly event rain or shine. According to Giles, there are positions for residents of all abilities that would like to help out, as there are jobs where volunteers can sit, stand and walk if needed. Volunteers can stand while directing traffic, others can sit while packing bags and some can be more active while taking the food to each car that drives through.

The Feed More program is exclusively for families who have a student enrolled in PECPS. Those who are not a part of the school system but still need help can visit Feedmore.org/find-food to see other locations where food is available. Those interested in volunteering can contact Giles at letina.giles@pecps.k12.va.us.