Heavenly Manna, the second-largest of four food banks in Franklin County, needs more volunteers.
Due to the pandemic, Heavenly Manna, which normally distributes food on Mondays, has seen an increase in the number of families seeking assistance and a decrease in volunteers.
“Heavenly Manna has been running with the same small volunteer group since March and has been struggling to get through the distribution and preparation of food to keep up with the demand,” director Frances Davis said in an email.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has helped by providing trustee labor for distribution and unloading of food trucks, but “it is still not enough,” she added.
The majority of the 25 or so volunteers are 60 or older, some into their 80s, Davis said. Because of the pandemic, only about half of them are volunteering regularly, and there’s “a severe need” for volunteer service to prepare and distribute food boxes.
She said more people are seeking assistance because income restrictions for food bank recipients have pretty much been waived and there’s a greater influx of people needing to pick up food.
Prior to the pandemic, Heavenly Manna, on South Main Street in Rocky Mount, distributed food to about 500 families monthly.
Since 1991, it’s been supported by Feeding Southwest Virginia, several nonprofit organizations, businesses and churches, Davis said.
The three other food banks in the county are God’s Provisions in Rocky Mount, The Agape Center near the Franklin/Bedford county line and His Cupboard in Boones Mill.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Davis at 420-1914.
William Fleming students bring home national NAACP awards
Two youths representing the Roanoke NAACP Chapter recently walked away as national NAACP Afro-Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics champions.
Uyen Tran won the national gold medal for chemistry/biochemistry, the first time someone from the Roanoke chapter has earned the top award.
London Paige won a national bronze medal in biology/microbiology. Last year, she won a bronze medal for chemistry/biochemistry.
Paige and Tran are seniors at William Fleming High School and the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Math and Science.
Other Roanokers competing in the 42nd National NAACP ACT-SO Virtual Competition were Dylan Tran, Elyse McFalls, Kameron Washington-Brown, Lynn Parks and Janiah Merchant. More than 350 olympians from across the country competed in the 33 categories from Aug. 12-15.
Last year, Roanoke was the only Virginia NAACP branch to have a medal winner in any category. This year, Roanoke was joined by the Virginia Beach branch, which won a national bronze in painting, and the Norfolk branch, which won a gold medal in poetry performance.
Retired county teachers award scholarship to Glenvar graduate
The Roanoke County ReTirees, formerly the Roanoke County Retired Teachers, recently awarded its annual $1,000 scholarship to a Glenvar High School graduate.
Makenna Prillaman, daughter of Donna Prillaman, is using the scholarship at Roanoke College, where she has been accepted into the Fellows Program.
Prillaman, a longtime Girl Scout, was active in the Beta and Keyettes clubs and a founder and organizer of the 20 Project, which was designed to encourage Glenvar seniors to create an original project with civic ties.
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