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Day of Action Delivers Fresh Produce to Local Families

Original Source - ABC 13

By Matt Ray

Danville, VA - This week United Way chapters worldwide are organizing "Days of Action."  Here at home, volunteers came together Saturday to help educate the community about healthy eating.

Armeka Hodge knows how important it is to put fruits and vegetables on her childrens' plates.  But with six hungry mouths to feed, it's not always easy.

"It's healthy and it's good for you.  It's better than the sweets," said Hodge.  "It's very, very, very rare that we can get it."

That's where the Day of Action comes in.  Shoppers at Danville's farmers market donated fresh produce for families in Danville's five housing authority neighborhoods. Get Fit Dan River matched the donations dollar for dollar.

As director of local food pantry God's Storehouse, Karen Harris sees families struggle every day to feed their families nutritious meals.

"If you go to the grocery store now you know today just buying fresh produce is very expensive," said Harris.

United Way volunteers filled dozens of bags with the fresh fruits and veggies and distributed them in the neighborhoods.  They also included information and recipes with each bag.

"This gives them the opportunity to maybe even try something they haven't tried before," said Harris.

They hope this will make healthy eating a lasting habit with the families.

Starting June 27, farmers market customers paying with SNAP EBT will receive double what they spend thanks to a grant from the Danville Regional Foundation.    

Hodge says all this will make it much easier to feed her family the way she wants to.

"I'm grateful for it," said Hodge.  "I love fresh food and it's something different for the kids to try."

In all about 800 pounds of food was donated.  That's enough to feed about 120 families.   Donations will still be accepted every week at the farmers market and will go directly to God's Storehouse.