Donations from the WDBJ7 Home and Away Food Drive headed to Long Island

Southwest Virginia's generosity made the WDBJ7 Home and Away Food Drive a success. Now we know where some of that food is headed.

We collected more than 43- thousand pounds of canned goods, bottled water and other items.
A third of those donations will feed the hungry here in southwest Virginia.  The rest is headed for hurricane relief in the northeast.
 
Feeding America Southwest Virginia will load the donations onto a truck in Salem Monday morning, to start the journey north to Long Island. The food is going to a distribution center in Hauppauge, New York. That's an area about 50 miles east of New York City that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, and is still dealing with the effects of the storm.
 
Pamela Irvine is the Executive Director of Feeding America Southwest Virginia. "It's going to Long Island, where it's desperately needed," she told us. "They're still without electricity, and people not being able to be in their homes and so many different challenges up there."
 
Volunteers were hard at work Thursday at the Feeding America distribution center in Salem, inspecting and sorting the items that were donated during the food drive.    They were blending the selection of items in each box, so families in New York will have a variety of foods to choose from.

"We got a great variety of food on the food drive, and people were generous with all types of food," said Senior Vice President John Shoulders, "so what these volunteers are doing is adding some water or drinks in along with some canned goods, and a variety of goods, so people when they pick up a banana box will have food maybe for several days."

A truckload of food isn't the only assistance Feeding America Southwest Virginia is sending.  A member of the staff heads out tomorrow for a temporary assignment with Island Harvest, the food bank on Long Island. The food is scheduled to arrive in Hauppauge on Tuesday, and we plan to be there as well to see how contributions from our area will be making a difference 500 miles from home.