Last Wednesday the Northern Neck Food Bank hosted a special open-house event for both a fundraiser and a community outreach at their base of operations. The Food Bank has committed themselves to providing fresh, nutritious produce for those in need and has been a main supplier for many food pantries throughout the Westmoreland, Northumberland, Lancaster, Richmond, Middlesex and Essex County areas.
Lance Barton, the Director of the NNFB, spoke about the importance of food banks in people’s lives. Having been a heroin addict, Barton told of how he went to a food bank as a hungry drug addict and had people, for the first time in his life as an addict, acknowledge him and actually raise money for him to go through detox. It was then that, with the support of several families, Lance created the Northern Neck Food Bank in 2008 in the back of a pickup truck. It has now grown into an official Central Virginia Food Bank and distributes food to over 25 pantries.
They do this by working with local farmers (many of whom are located in Westmoreland County) and glean their crops. Last year, over 230,000 pounds of food was gleaned from over 40 acres of land and donated to the NNFB, supplying food for over 4,000 people each month. The food bank has roughly 1,200 volunteers each year to help harvest the fresh produce of the Northern Neck. The NNFB has three full-time workers as well as three part-time employees who graciously donate their time to serve others.