Storms cause greater need for local food donations

Nearly two weeks after storms wreaked havoc across our area, local foods banks are prepping for the next time bad weather hits. They’re stocking their shelves and calling for extra donations—so no one goes hungry.

We’ve all likely learned that we need to better prepare for whatever Mother Nature brings our way. So, many of us were in a frenzy over losing power and having to toss out our groceries, that we lost sight of the fact that many of our neighbors face similar struggles every day.

Leo Delgado may work in a warehouse full of food, but he knows firsthand what it's like to go hungry.

“Me growing up, it was pretty hard for us,” said Delgado, of Food for Others.
His mom raised four kids alone and relied on organizations like Food for Others in Fairfax, for stocking their pantry. Now, he is helping stock others.
“All year round, we have to weather the storm with hunger,” Delgado said.

Around 80 families visit the food bank daily.

“We may have a couple bad days with no electricity, but these people still have a bad life after this weather and they still need our help,” he said.

“It's a serious hardship for our clients who are living paycheck to paycheck, earning minimum wage,” said Lisa Whetzel, the executive director of Our Daily Bread.

Whetzel’s Our Daily Bread provides food for about 60 needy families, every other week. She says the recent storms were a wake-up call. One week before they hit, her clients were mailed grocery gift cards—most went shopping right before their power cut out.

Their stock of food was depleted, with no money for more.

Preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best, in a season that gives pantries enough trouble without mother nature stepping in.

“Summer is the lowest time for donations from families because schools out. People on vacation. They're not thinking about things like people in need,” said Roxanne Rice, the executive director of Food for Others.

More than 90,000 people in Fairfax County are living in poverty—30 percent are children.