The jail kitchen in the Newport News City Jail is closed for renovations, so more than 1,700 pounds unused frozen and shelf stable foods are feeding the homeless and families in need. The food is used for inmate meals. With no place to store that much frozen meat, veggies, and dry goods, Jail Maintenance staff got the OK to donate the items to the Four Oaks Day Center and the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank.
Deputies and deputy cadets loaded the boxes and pallets of food and dropped them off on Monday, May 15. About 155 pounds of frozen food arrived at Four Oaks, a city-run facility to help people transition from homelessness into employment, stable housing, and independence. The Foodbank welcomed the 1,545 pounds of food, which included bottles of salad dressing, bags of pinto beans, navy beans and black beans, pancake and waffle mix, flour, and loaves of bread. It doesn’t take long for donated food to be distributed to those in need.
“Donations are critically important now that the pandemic-related food programs have ceased, and we are seeing a 30% increase in the need since last year,” explained Foodbank Chief Executive Officer Karen Joyner.
The timing couldn’t have been better since donations tend to drop off in the spring and summer. The Foodbank can provide one healthy meal for every 1.2 pounds of food donated, so the contribution equaled 1,287.5 meals. The Hampton Roads Regional Jail is helping out the NNSO during the renovations. Deputies are picking up inmate meals prepared there and bringing them to the Newport News City Jail and Annex.