Joining Forces

June 15, 2020
By Hunter Hilbert and Katie Trozzo
VT Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation

When needs arise, good neighbors are often there to lend a hand. The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia partnered with other local organizations to aid in the “7 Weeks to Take Out Hunger” initiative. These organizations sought monetary donations to purchase food from local restaurants to give to needy families during the Coronavirus pandemic. All of the purchased food came from local businesses and restaurants, as the initiative of the Boys and Girls Club and its partner organizations also aimed to keep Roanoke-area merchants afloat.

During week one of the seven week-long initiatives to feed hungry families, participant organizations raised more than $26,000 toward the their $100,000 goal. With the funds, the “7 Weeks to Take Out Hunger” initiative planned to feed between 1,000 and 2,000 needy families each week. However, more families became in need as the pandemic progressed. Each week the demand for food grew about about twenty percent. Donations came from numerous types of businesses and organizations, ranging from the Community Foundation of Western Virginia to Delta Dental.

Michelle Davis, a spokesperson from the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia, made it clear that the initiative to feed the hungry was not created to be purely focused on food. This initiative is also centered on keeping people connected while ensuring their needs for food and resources are met. Feelings of connectedness dwindled as social distancing measures increased, so the opportunity to safely go out to put food on the table was welcome.         

For more detailed information about 7 Weeks to Take Out Hunger, click here. Learn more about the Boys and Gils Club of Southwest Virginia at this link. This vignette was derived from a WDBJ7 news piece from May 1, 2020 (see below).

Birch, J. (2020, May 1). Boys and Girls Club helping feed hungry families while supporting local businesses. WDBJ7. Retrieved from: