More than 24,000 people in the NRV—including many children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from—that’s 3,510 people in Radford and 14, 030 people in Montgomery County.
Surprising to many, 17 percent of Radford’s under-18 population are hungry children. That’s 390 hungry kids.
To help feed those kids and many more throughout the NRV, Sharkey’s Wing and Rib Joint (1202 E Main St., Radford) will host a group fundraising meal for Feeding America Southwest Virginia from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday.
To count participants, everyone should RSVP for the event by visiting bit.ly/committoeat and clicking the green “Commit to Eat” button by Sunday. In order to hold the event, they need 20 confirmed RSVP’s for this event by Sunday.
“They’re our neighbors, members of our church, kids in our schools – and they need our help,” Amanda Allen, of Feeding America Southwest Virginia, said. “There are kids sitting beside our own kids at school. But we can do something,” she said.
Feeding America’s food bank system supports 26 counties and nine cities in southwest Virginia, including the New River Valley area.
Nationally, Feeding America member food banks supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors according to Allen.
“I’m excited!” Matthew Morgan, Sharkey’s manager said. “Everyone gets excited when we get a chance to do something for the community!”
The fundraising meal is open to everyone and Sharkey’s will donate 15 percent of the proceeds from attendees’ meals (not including alcoholic beverages) to Feeding America Southwest Virginia.
“I hope it will be busy. We pride ourselves on loving when it’s busy. People think it’s hectic, but it’s something we all try to thrive on that means people are out people are out on Main Street and it’s good for everybody,” Morgan said.
This will be the first time Feeding America Southwest Virginia has participated in this kind of fundraising partnership.
“So, partnering with Sharkey’s – a real fixture in the community is really big. It’s a lot of fun for people to have a good meal and at the same time they’re making sure that other people will eat too,” said Allen.
The meal is the featured fundraising event for FASWVA during “GiveBigNRV,” a focused day of charitable giving in the New River Valley initiative of The Community Foundation of the New River Valley.
Nationally, the USDA estimates 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children lived in food insecure American households in 2016.
For more information about hunger in America and the NRV and how you can help, visit Map the Meal Gap study, an interactive map http://map.feedingamerica.org/ and national data at www.ers.usda.gov.