The Virginia Beach Education Foundation (VBEF) partnered with Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), Pembroke Mall, Southern Bank and WTKR News 3 to host a Beach Bags food drive March 23, and the support was “overwhelming” according to Dr. Amber Rach, VBCPS director of community engagement.
The Beach Bags program provides meals and healthy snacks to students who may not have enough to eat during weekends and school vacations, and last week’s food drive brought in 6,832 pounds of food and $10,940 donations from the community, the largest donations to date.
“The record-breaking support we received from our donors and volunteers demonstrates their continued caring and dedication to meet the needs of our food-insecure students since the inception of this important program,” said Rach.
Event sponsor Southern Bank donated $5,000 and Old Donation School student Josh Darrow donated $2,000 from the winnings earned on his successful appearance on the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in February.
During the food drive, volunteers packed 1,200 Beach Bags on-site with incoming donations and food that was not packed will be stored to prepare more Beach Bags in the future. More than 10,000 Beach Bags have been provided to VBCPS students this school year, and more than 62,000 bags have been distributed since the Beach Bags program was established in 2009.
The Beach Bags program is supported entirely by donations from community members, area businesses and school organizations. Tax-deductible monetary donations can be made through the VBEF and food donations are accepted year-round at the School Administration Building located at 2512 George Mason Drive in Virginia Beach.
For more information about the Beach Bags program, to make a donation or sign up to volunteer, contact the Office of Community Engagement at 757-263-1936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.