LDS Church donates 20,000 lbs of food to Salem food bank

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints donated more than 20,000 lbs of food to Feeding America Southwest Virginia food bank in Salem.

Church members and politicians helped unload the boxes of food Friday morning.

Food bank leaders say a donation of this size is equivalent to approximately $22,542 and will provide more than 16,600 meals to those in need in Southwest Virginia.

"We know we do have a lot of neighbors around that do have great needs," said Roanoke Stake President Kevin Bohon.

"We just hope this brings them a little bit of joy and happiness and that is what we want to share."

Feeding America Southwest Virginia President and CEO Pamela Irvine explained the donations were much needed because many of their shelves are emptier than usual.

Irvine estimated the empty shelves may be a result of distributors donating the much-needed food to areas hard-hit by natural disasters.

According to Irvine, the church donated flour, tuna, canned vegetables, pears, rice, pasta, and more.

"Those are items that we do not get donated frequently and if you look at our warehouse out there you will see mostly empty racks and that's because we really don't have any food," Irvine said.

According to a food bank spokesman, the donation was part of "the day to serve", a day officially recognized by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe as a day for Virginians of all faiths to "feed the hungry, clean up neighborhoods and improve communities" with their service activities.

The donations were put on a truck in Salt Lake City and the donations were personally delivered to not only the Salem food bank but also other food banks located within Virginia.

This is the third year in a row the food bank has received a donation of food from this church.