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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula?


A. The Foodbank is a charitable organization that solicits, receives, inventories, stores, and distributes purchased and donated food and grocery products to charitable agencies that directly help the needy.

Q. How do you distribute food?

A. The Foodbank distributes donated and purchased food through its network of 228 qualified agencies throughout the Virginia Peninsula, such as soup kitchens, shelters and pantries. The agencies then distribute the food to hungry men, women and children in their neighborhoods.

Food also is distributed through children's programs, such as our Kids Cafe and Backpack program, as well as individual requests for emergency food assistance.

Q. What types of food do you distribute?

A. Last year, the Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula distributed almost 9.9 million pounds of nonperishable food and fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of nearly 159,000 meals every week.

Please visit our food and fund drives page to see which types of food are in highest demand.

Q. Where do you get the food?

A. The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula receives food from the federal government, wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, food drives and Feeding America.

If you are interested in donating food please drop it off either at the Foodbank or a local friend of the foodbank, such as Farm Fresh; Food Lion; and Pearson Toyota.

If you are a food distributor, such as a restaurant or grocery store, and would like to donate food, please contact Michele Benson-Howell at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call her at 757-596-7188.

Q. How much of your food is donated?

Approximately 75% of our food is donated from food drives, government programs, community donations, restaurants, and grocery stores.  The other 25% of the food is purchased by the Foodbank at discounted rates.

Q. Who do you serve?

A.  The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula serves needy individuals in the areas of Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Mathews, Gloucester, York, James City, Surry, and Poquoson.  We provide emergency food for 1,354,508 duplicated individuals annually, with approximately 10,000 separate people receiving emergency food assistance in any given week.  About 70% of those receiving food assistance have incomes below the poverty level and nearly 40% of those receiving aid from the Foodbank are under 18 years old.

Q. Do your programs extend beyond food provision?

A. Yes, apart from our extensive food assistance prorams, we also hold a Nutrition, Education, and Self-Sufficiency program that provides nutrition, food safety, and basic living skills training to low income, at risk individuals, empowering them to strive towards metting their own nutritional, financial and self-actualization goals.  This past year we enrolled 41,394 individuals in this very beneficial program.

Q. How can I get food?

A.  As individuals are not served bythe Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, if you are in need of food assistance please visit our How to Get Help page, which will direct you to several different organizations within the Virginia Peninsula that could be of help.

Q. How can I become a member agency?

A. The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula works in partnership with over 200 partner agencies. Our member agencies provide us with a presence in their local communities and offer thousands of low-income Virginian's on the Peninsula groceries and meals. Any nonprofit organization within our service area that provides free food to low–income persons may be eligible for membership at the Foodbank.

To become a member agency, please fill out our Member Agency Application and get in contact with Andrea Harley, our Agency Services Director, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 757-596-7188

Q. How do I hold a food and/or fund drive?

A. Holding a food and fund drive is a fun way to get involved in helping hungry people throughout the Virginia Peninsula.  Please contact Donna Tighe at 757-596-7188 to get started today!

Q. How do I become a volunteer?

A. Volunteering is great opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, and make a difference in someone's life.  Please contact Donna Tighe at 757.596.7188 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in volunteering.

Q. What volunteer opportunities are available?

Please visit our volunteer opportunities page to see our regularly updated list of volunteer opportunities.

Do you have a question that is not answered on this Web site?

Contact us by phone at 757-596-7188.