RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Tim Beane unpacks boxes of frozen chicken and places each tray of breasts, thighs and wings into freezers that line the walls.
Beane is retired after three decades at Altria, but it is inside the FeedMore Distribution Center that he has found another calling.
“It’s very gratifying to have a chance to give back like this,” Beane says, taking a short break. “And you do think about the folks who will benefit from the work that you’re doing.”
Since 2011, Beane has given more than 2,400 hours of his time to the FeedMore Distribution Center. He sorts rows upon rows of perishable and non-perishable foods and puts each item in the appropriate bin or freezer case.
“The Distribution Center really is the heart of the organization,” explains Annie Andrews, FeedMore’s Director of Operations. “It’s our mixing center.”
Andrews gives 8News Anchor Amy Lacey a tour of the operation that last year distributed 19.2 million meals to 29 counties and five cities. There are 319 partner agencies helping FeedMore to make it happen.
“From the larger bags to smaller bags, it’s different types of products for different agencies,” Andrews points out fresh produce, cases of water and bags of rice.
Everything at the Distribution Center comes from local retailers, manufacturers and food drives. The food goes to the most vulnerable members of the community.
“We’re dealing with children and seniors, families that have to make decisions about what they’re spending their money on,” says Andrews. “So the types of food that we want to provide, we want it to be the most wholesome and most healthy that it possibly can be.”
For volunteers like Beane, the reward is the ability to offer health and hope to others who need it.
“There’s never a day when I don’t feel good when I leave here because I know in a small way I’ve helped other folks,” Beane says. “I’m going to continue doing it while I can.”
Follow this link for information on donating time or food to the FeedMore Distribution Center.
8News is a proud sponsor of ZestFest 2017. The gala on February 25 benefits FeedMore’s hunger-relief programs. Follow this link for information about the event.