Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Receives $100,000 Grant from Truist for COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Date: June 8, 2020

(VERONA, Va. — June 8, 2020) — A $100,000 grant from Truist Financial Corporation is helping the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank procure food boxes for individuals and families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant is part of the financial services company’s Truist Cares initiative, a $50 million national philanthropic pledge to support basic needs, medical supplies, and financial hardship relief due to COVID-19.

The Food Bank’s expenses related to COVID-19 top $1.5 million so far, with most of that spending on food.

Financial support from Truist has gone a long way in helping the Food Bank address hunger during the current health crisis, which includes responding to food assistance needs for the newly unemployed.

“The purchase of food has been our largest expense since the start of the crisis,” says Michael McKee, CEO of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. “Not only are we grateful for this level of support, but so are the families turning to us for help. For many of them, it’s the first time they’ve ever relied upon a food bank or food pantry.”

When businesses lead the way like this, they make a significant, direct impact and they empower employees to invest in causes impacting their communities.

“I am extremely proud of my Truist teammates,” says Chris Ellis, Harrisonburg market president for Truist. “Their hard work allowed us to react quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and fund an essential community need in the Blue Ridge area.”

The heightened levels of need triggered by the pandemic and resulting economic downturn could persist for many more months. Vital support from the business community helps the Food Bank access more food, strengthen the capacity of partner food pantries, and access a variety of valuable resources, all of which helps to advance the Food Bank’s mission that everyone has enough to eat.

For more information, please contact Abena Foreman-Trice at 540-280-6588.



About the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank:

Founded in 1981, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is the largest organization alleviating hunger in western and central Virginia. Headquartered in Verona, VA, the Food Bank serves 25 counties and eight cities through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester, and Verona. The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank distributes nearly 26.4 million pounds of food annually to 103,500 people each month through a network of 205 community partners – food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, schools, churches, and other non-profit groups – and 175 program sites serving children, seniors, and families. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, a national food bank association that supports 200 food banks across the United States. For more information, visit For more ways businesses can help, visit


About Truist:

Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspire and build better lives and communities. With 275 years of combined BB&T and SunTrust history, Truist serves approximately 10 million households with leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is the sixth-largest commercial bank in the U.S. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at

Contact: Abena Foreman-Trice
Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

Contact: Audria Belton, Truist


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