CAAR Raises $12,500, Helping Fund Five Mobile Food Pantry Sites
CAAR has announced its membership has raised $12,500 during the month of March for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry (MFP) program. REALTORS® and affiliates of CAAR raised $7,500, which was then matched by a $5,000 donation from Virginia Estates.
The MFP program was created to reach some of the Food Bank's most vulnerable clients—those living in more rural areas with no access to commercial food providers and/or food assistance services. There are 11 MFP sites, where the Food Bank brings a truck full of fresh produce and shelf-stable proteins to be distributed to families in need. Eight of the MFPs are in the Charlottesville area, serving an average of 175 families per distribution.
"Since March, we began seeing an increase in pantry and Mobile Food Pantry visits (21% were first-time visitors, triple the number of first-time visitors last year)," said Millie Winstead, Director of Development for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. "The Mobile Food Pantry, meeting need by bringing food to where people live, has become an even more important outreach strategy than we could have imagined. CAAR's gift goes beyond filling our neighbors’ pantries and tables, they are bringing hope to these communities."
"Food is a basic need for all of us. Food is also a way to embrace a culture, to come together as family. Food can be comfort and food can be a celebration. And the worry to provide it when you don't have money coming in is the reality for so many of our neighbors," said CAAR 2021 President Quinton Beckham. "We wanted to alleviate the worry for families as we move through the pandemic, just as we were able to do last year. And maybe too, embrace a family, celebrate a culture of being one community and take this one weight off the shoulders of those in need."
CAAR raised over $30,000 for the Food Bank, the equivalent of roughly 120,000 meals, in 2020.