We’ve compiled a list of the 10 top food banks in Virginia if you’re looking for something to eat, want to give to a food bank, or wish to volunteer.
1. Chapel Food Pantry
As one of the outreach ministries of the Eastern Shore Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach, the Chapel Food Pantry serves struggling families and individuals in the Virginia Beach area three afternoons each week. They offer a market-style distribution service, allowing visitors to choose their own groceries from a selection of dried goods, nonperishable items, fresh produce, meat, and dairy items.
As a completely independent food pantry, Chapel Food Pantry always accepts volunteers and donations of any kind to help keep the pantry running. Volunteers can sign up online, donations of nonperishable foods and carrier bags can be made at the pantry during normal open hours, and monetary donations can be made online via this site. Contact them for more information or if you have any other questions how to access or provide help.
2. Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
Also in Virginia Beach is the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center food pantry, open twice week to provide individuals and families living on the Eastern Virginia shore with monthly food boxes. These consist of fresh produce, baked and dried goods, nonperishable items, meat, and dairy. They even have a soup kitchen that provides homeless or those in extreme food poverty with hot dinners Monday through Friday and hot lunches on the weekends.
You can help support the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center’s food pantry by donating money directly to the center via this page or by following the guidelines on this page to deliver food and other needed items. You can also volunteer at the pantry to help pack and distribute food boxes. Contact them via the information provided at the top of their webpage.
3. Agape Food Pantry
In Chesapeake, the Great Bridge United Methodist Church opens the Agape Food Pantry on Friday afternoons for local families and individuals to find the food they need to survive that week. Food boxes included canned goods, beans, breakfast items, dried goods (such as pasta and breads), peanut butter and jelly, toiletries, and household cleaning materials. There are even female hygiene products for those in need.
If you’d like to donate items to the Agape Food Pantry, you can drop them off at the church office anytime between 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday. If you’d like to volunteer, follow the instructions to sign up on this site. You can also donate money directly to the food pantry via this site. Contact them directly if you have any other questions or need more information.
4. Bethel Worship Center Food Pantry
Northwest of Chesapeake, the Bethel Worship Center (BWC) Food Pantry in Portsmouth works to alleviate food insecurity by distributing food twice a week. Unlike some other pantries in the area, the BWC food pantry has no registration requirements, no zip code restrictions, and no limits on how often an individual or family can visit the pantry each month.
You can volunteer at the pantry by contacting the pantry coordinator by email. Alternately, you can make a monetary donation via this site, or contact them directly to find out how to donate food and other needed items.
5. Village Family Food Pantry
One of the few food pantries in Norfolk, Village Family Food Pantry provides those individuals and families in the Norfolk area with at least a week’s worth of food every fourth Sunday from First Calvary Baptist Church. Village Family Food Pantry also provides clothes, toiletries, and other household items to those in need of these items. They never turn anyone away.
While they are not accepting food donations currently, they desperately need monetary donations to help with the storage, distribution, and organization of these monthly services. Contact them to find out how to volunteer at the pantry or for any other questions.
6. The Salvation Army Hampton Roads
Monday through Friday afternoons, The Salvation Army Hampton Roads food pantry in Norfolk opens to provide eligible individuals and families with a monthly food box. Each emergency food box contains at least a selection of canned and dried goods to help alleviate the immediate need for warm food on the table; when available, boxes could include fresh produce, baked items, and meats.
You can help support the Salvation Army Hampton Roads food pantry by donating food, donating money (just specify the food pantry at Hampton Roads on the online form), or donating your time. Contact them by phone to find out more information about what they offer and how you can help.
7. Arlington Food Assistance Center
The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) opened in 1988 to provide nutritious food to Arlington residents suffering from food insecurity. They operate a choice, supermarket style model, where visitors can choose what they want from shelves of donated food. Options include canned and dried goods, but also fresh produce, meats, dairy, eggs, and other items grown fresh and delivered by local farmers and distributors.
AFAC relies on the donations of the community to help them continue to provide high quality food and help to the hundreds of hungry families and individuals in the Arlington area. If you’d like to donate food, check out what they need and how to donate on this page. You can also make a monetary donation or volunteer your time to collect or distribute food during pantry open hours. Contact them via email or their social media pages to find out more.
8. West End Food Pantry
In 2016, the West End Food Pantry in Alexandria opened to provide local residents with a resource to collect emergency food in those times of extreme need. Each Monday evening, the West End Food Pantry opens to provide visitors with canned and dried foods suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When items are available, they also provide baby items and feminine products.
You can donate food for the pantry by visiting the Saint James UMC Church on Sunday mornings from 9-12 or purchasing through the West End Food Pantry’s Amazon Wish List. If you’d like to donate money, volunteer at the pantry, or have any other questions, contact them by email.
9. Colonial Heights Food Pantry
In 2006, Ruth Chappell and a group of concerned citizens and businesses founded the Colonial Heights Food Pantry in Colonial Heights, VA (south of Richmond). On Thursday evenings and Friday mornings, low-income individuals and families in the Colonial Heights area can choose from a selection of donated food, often including fresh produce and meats as well as nonperishable items.
Find out what and when you can donate food to the pantry here or, if you prefer to donate money directly to the pantry, you can do so here. If you’d like to help out at the food pantry, check out this page to see what kind of help they need and how to register. If you have any other questions, contact them for more information.
10. Five Loaves Food Pantry
The Five Loaves Food Pantry has been an oasis to the needy and struggling in the Virginia peninsula area since the early 2000s. Where other food pantries only provide emergency food resources to eligible visitors, the Five Loaves Food Pantry allows visitors to shop with them as little or often as they need. Monday through Friday lunchtimes, they open their perishable foods ‘market’ and stay open until all food has been collected. On Tuesday evenings, they provide hot meals and three meals’ worth of nonperishables and meats.
You can donate money to help fund the pantry’s mission by donating to their PayPal or you can offer to volunteer at any number of opportunities found on this page. Contact them directly if you have any other questions or want to donate food to the pantry.
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