Foodbank to open new Western Tidewater Branch

Published 5:33 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony, community open house, and facility tours Thursday, Sept. 15, to officially open its new Western Tidewater Branch Headquarters located at 618 South St. in Franklin.

The event will begin at 10 a.m.

A Foodbank news release noted that the organization’s $3 million investment in the Franklin facility marks a major commitment to eliminate food insecurity and its root causes.

The facility has been in the works for nearly two years and also represents a major economic investment in the city of Franklin. The new facility extends the Foodbank’s reach to individuals experiencing food insecurity and the organization’s agency partners in Franklin and Suffolk, and the counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton and Sussex where food insecurity rates among children range from 12% to 29%, and among African American residents from 15% to 25%. 

The nearly 17,000-square-foot building will house a warehouse equipped with large refrigerators, freezers and dry storage spaces, a marketplace and numerous classroom and meeting spaces to support programs designed to address the root causes of food insecurity, namely employment, health care and nutrition, education, housing and financial literacy.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore will be joined by Franklin Mayor Frank M. Rabil, Obici Healthcare Foundation CEO R. Battle Betts Jr. and a host of local community leaders in celebrating the opening of the new branch facility. 

Immediately following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, regional leaders will participate in a service project packing bags for the Foodbank’s BackPack Program, which provides weekend meals to more than 4,000 children per school year across the region who are experiencing food insecurity. 

Tours of the new facility will also be conducted following the ribbon-cutting event. 

For more information, contact Senior Director of Communications David Brandt at dbrandt@foodbankonline.org or 757-644-5860.