We hope you are planning to come to one of our most popular and important events of the year, Lynchburg Cooks for Hunger Relief (LCFHR). This year, on Monday, April 24th, we will showcase over 35 local restaurants and food vendors, along with 6 local beverage providers to bring you the most delicious event in Lynchburg.
So often at events, our patrons wonder where the money goes. Does my ticket PAY for all of the wonderful food? Does it pay for the staff and event overhead? The answer is NO! At Lynchburg Cooks, your ticket purchase of $30 beforehand or $35 at the door goes directly to support hunger relief in our area. All funds raised are split into 3 and are given directly to help important non-profit agencies in our area that work to fight hunger. This year those non-profits are DAWN (Donation-A-Week-Neighbor), The Salvation Army, and Neighbors Helping Neighbors of Amherst County.
Before we get into the important work of these agencies, we have to tell you HOW your ticket sales are 100% donation to these fabulous agencies. United Way of Central VA (UWCV) only acts as the fiscal officer for this event. Meaning, UWCV takes all donations in, and sends them right back out to the three benefiting agencies chosen each year to be the lucky recipients.
Not only is this event run by a 100% volunteer board of restaurant leaders and owners, EVERY single restaurant, food vendor and beverage provider DONATES their product, supplies, staff and time to make this possible. Isn’t that AMAZING??? So, when you are enjoying the yummy eats at this year’s event, be sure to THANK our amazing volunteers for their time. This event would not be possible without them.
So you might ask yourself, what exactly do the three benefiting agencies do? Well, here is your answer:
DAWN (Donation a Week Neighbor) is a community Christian outreach ministry, helping neighbors in need with emergency food, clothing, fuel, electrical and rent assistance, fuel assistance, medical and overnight lodging in cases of temporary or transient need. DAWN program is a product of the Altavista Ministerial Association, which is made up of churches in the Altavista area. This organization is 100% volunteer run.
As well as a shelter and food pantry, DAWN offers several programs to get people in need back on their feet. Second Helping is a weekly meal ministry which DAWN helps sponsor. Each Wednesday at 11am to 1pm, a meal is served to the Altavista Presbyterian Church for those in need of nutrition and socialization.
Super Cupboard is a program that DAWN helps sponsor for women on government assistance. Workshop sessions provide personal development in areas of nutrition, food preparation and life skills. Instructors are professionals within these fields that volunteer their time to educate.
Transients are regularly helped by DAWN when moving through town. In cooperation with the local police station, transients are screened and DAWN board members authorize help with gasoline, a meal or a night’s lodging.
Funds raised from LCFHR will be used to support these programs, as well as purchase food, help with medical expenses, prescription medicines, emergency fuel assistance and other vital needs in the Altavista Community.
The Salvation Army
No matter how together we think we have it, life throws us curve balls. So many of us are one unexpected emergency away from not being able to pay our rent, have a place to sleep or have something to eat.
The Salvation Army (TSA) of Lynchburg has been providing answers to dilemmas like these for more than 110 years. As part of the mission of the Salvation Army, this non-profit is dedicated to meeting human needs without discrimination for the residents of Campbell, Bedford and Nelson counties and the cities of Lynchburg, Appomattox and Amherst. Last year, TSA provided 54,000 meals to the hungry, more than 14,000 nights of lodging to the homeless, and emergency financial assistance to more than 3,400 individuals in our community. TSA also provides disaster relief both locally and abroad and extend enrichment programs to children who are considered at-risk within the Greater Lynchburg area.
Being a recipient of LCFHR provides TSA with needed funds that help maintain these programs year round. The Community Feeding Program through TSA has experienced a 40% increase since 2016, meaning added funds are vital to maintain the program. The LCFHR funds will help close the gap that has been created between funds available and the individual need.
Collaborations like LCFHR help The Salvation Army to continue to “Do the Most Good.”
Neighbors Helping Neighbors of Amherst County
The basic mission of Neighbors Helping Neighbors of Amherst County (NHNAC) is to feed the hungry of Amherst County. Pretty simple, but pretty big mission for this one-year old initiative. The role of NHNAC is to work with existing food pantries in the area and not to compete with them.Rural hunger is seen as a very different thing than city hunger. Relationships are the basis of this important work and it’s not just about the food.
This organization has two food kitchens located on each end of the County and soon will be opening a food pantry on Rt. 130. The organization is 100% volunteer and currently has over 150 on board. Over 50 business partners work to support the organization, along with 14 restaurants supporting the food kitchens. To date, NHNAC has served over 2,200 guests.
Being a part of LCFHR offers a great new opportunity to get the name and mission of this NHNAC out into the region. The group is constantly looking for additional restaurants to partner with and Lynchburg Cooks offers the opportunity to bridge that gap. The much needed funds will further the ability to feed those in need.
Feel good about supporting this event…
Not only are you feeding your tummy for the evening, you are making a difference in the community. So come out, eat, drink and do it all for a great cause….or 3 of them.