by Braedyn MalLard, Donation Station Program Manager
I recently took a trip up to Danville, Virginia, to meet with the folks at God’s Storehouse, our Donation Station recipient agency at both the Danville and Virginia Grown Farmers Markets. I am so grateful for the inspiring people I meet on such a regular basis doing this work—people who do the hard, thankless job of making sure everyone in our communities have enough food to eat. People like Karen, Emily, and Bo (the Director, Assistant Director, and Americorps VISTA, respectively) at God’s Storehouse.
Danville, Virginia, is a beautiful little town situated on the Dan River near the North Carolina border. At one time Danville was home to the largest single-unit textile mill in the world. But as the story has gone in so many small towns throughout the southeast, the industry left, and a lot of folks who relied on those industries to make ends meet were left in its wake. In the area that God’s Storehouse serves, there are roughly 19,000 people living below the federal poverty line and another 6,500 who are only slightly above that mark—making God’s Storehouse’s work so vital for so many people in their community.
God’s Storehouse serves over 200 families a day. They also recently installed a beautiful community garden in the lot adjacent to their office that was previously vacant. As you can imagine, serving so many people each week is a massive operation that takes a team of dedicated volunteers. These same God’s Storehouse volunteers also staff the Donation Stations on Saturdays. Last year, God’s Storehouse volunteers collected and spent almost $1,800 with local farmers in their community and collected and distributed almost 6,000 pounds of fresh, local produce.
I know I speak for everyone here at Farmer Foodshare when I say that not only are we proud to work with organizations like God’s Storehouse to ensure that all people have access to fresh, local food, but we are also humbled by the incredible work they do every day to nurture and strengthen their community.