During the pandemic Toma and Anita Simpson and Bev Fermor and Ken Kruzer saw families struggle with increasing food insecurity and decided to develop a new food pantry in Independence called Food Independence. They approached the Independence Town Manager, Reid Walters and Police Chief, James Wagoner, who were extremely supportive and assisted them in finding space on the lower level of the building that houses the Mexican restaurant on Main Street (accessed by the alley behind the building), offer police support and find potential sources of funding. The Elk Creek pantry, Hands of Grace, was also extremely helpful and willing to share information.
Anita Simpson presented the plan and proposed budget for Food Independence to the Grayson LandCare Board who voted to authorize Food Independence to operate as a program under LandCare’s 501(c)(3) status and offer their support.
The first distribution in July 2021 provided 75 boxes of food. In 2023 they provided an average of 363 boxes to 343 households with 773 people per month, climbing to 400 boxes during the holiday season.
Food is picked up, delivered, stored, packed, and distributed by a devoted cadre of over 50 volunteers.
Address – Food Independence, PO Box 201, Independence VA 24348
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – Food Independence
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