Food Lion Feeds awarded $1 million to nearly 600 hunger relief agencies across 10 states to help those organizations purchase food and other critical items needed to meet increasing demand. Bay Aging and Healthy Harvest Food Bank were among the recipients.
“This is an unprecedented and challenging time, and we know our neighbors are counting on us more than ever to help nourish their families,” said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion.
To answer that call, Food Lion chose to distribute funds to feeding agencies affiliated with the 30 regional Feeding America food bank partners in its service area, including Feed More, which is the parent company of Healthy Harvest Food Bank.
Healthy Harvest has a relationship with Food Lion Feeds as it receives grant funds from foundation annually. But to qualify for this round of COVID-19 hunger relief funding, Healthy Harvest had to apply like other organizations and had to identify increased demand and needs linked to the coronavirus, explained Mark Kleinschmidt, president and CEO of the food bank.
Food Lion Feeds awarded Healthy Harvest $4,000, which it expects to receive within the next 30 days, and that funding will be used to buy food, supplies and PPE, said Kleinschmidt
For Bay Aging, its $2,500 award was the first funding its received from Food Lion Feeds.
“I tried applying for funding through Food Lion Feeds last year but our application was rejected because we didn’t have a “Feeding America Partner in Good Standing” letter. I’ve have since obtained this letter from Feed More, which is where we buy our microwave-ready meals used in Bay Aging’s Meals on Wheels program,” said Michael Norvell vice president of development and marketing.
Bay Aging’s COVID-19 relief funding was provided in the form of one hundred $25 Food Lion gift cards, which the organization received on April 28. The gift cards are being distributed as quickly as possible to get them into the hands of the neediest of area residents, said Norvell.
Those gift cards will be a lifeline to many area residents who are in dire need of toiletries, pet food and other necessities not provided through our Meals on Wheels program,” added Bay Aging’s president and CEO Kathy Vesley.
And those are the types of efforts Food Lion was aiming to support.
“From schoolchildren missing meals while schools are out, to parents who have lost jobs, and seniors who are struggling to make ends meet, we’re committed to serving all of our neighbors now more than ever. We are doing what we can to support our food bank partners and these local feeding agencies that share our passion for ensuring none of our neighbors have to worry about where their next meal will come from,” said Ham.