Village Harvest August 2018 – numbers increase

Title:Village Harvest August 2018 – numbers increase

 Village Harvest August 15, 2018 (full size gallery)

Thanks to Andrea Pogue for the pictures

After reaching a high number served of 153 in April and dropping in May to 112, we have been steadily increasing the numbers served over the last quarter.  June fed 100, July 119 and this month in August rose to 140. We have served 860 people this year which is below 2017 (1,039) but above 2016 (763). 

We again had school supplies for recent school opening and a wide variety of vegetables and fruits (corn, cucumbers, broccoli, oranges), grocery items and meats.

The numbers of pounds served was 801 which was low compared to earlier months.  Food served on average has increased in contrast to numbers served. We have averaged 1,501 in 2018 which is above 1,254 in 2017 and 1,058 in 2016.  The increase for 2018 is 120%.  The value per shopper was consequently lower in August at $34.33 compared to an average of $76.92 for 2018. 

The need is there. A recent article in the Free Lance-Star reported "About 31,000 residents of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford consistently lack enough food to maintain a healthy, active life (definition of "food insecure"). In the Fredericksburg region, 54 churches operate pantries, either weekly or a few times a month, through their partnership with the Food Bank. Another 36 schools set up food pantries in closets and cubbyholes.

"The disparity highlights the struggles faced by people recently identified as the ALICE population: those who are asset limited, income constrained and employed. More than 39 percent of Virginia households don’t have enough money to cover basic living expenses, according to the ALICE report from the Rappahannock United Way."

In Caroline county alone Feeding America (2016) estimates 12.1% of the county are food insecure or 3,750 people. In adjoining Essex county the rate is higher at 15.2% but because the county is smaller the number of  food insecure is estimated at 1,700.