Food Access Collaboration Leads to New Services Directory to Help the NRV

The Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) is pleased to announce the release of The NRV Food Assistance Directory 2019-2020. Created as part of the Foundation’s Thrive Initiative, this first guide of its kind provides a comprehensive overview of available food assistance programs and services in the NRV. Food security remains a serious challenge in the region, with 10% of families and one in five children in the NRV experiencing hunger or food hardship. To help address this challenge, the directory fills a critical need for information around food access opportunities in the NRV.

Started in 2016, Thrive is focused on expanding access to healthy food in the New River Valley (NRV). Over 90 organizations play a direct or indirect role in providing food access, and the initiative has evolved from a series of conversations in 2016 to a formal Food Access Network with a leadership team overseeing progress on a data-informed set of priorities. The directory was a major collaborative effort to centrally identify and document resources that had previously been decentralized across individual websites, flyers, locations, etc., by the Thrive Information Sharing Working Group. The process of creating the directory itself helped to build relationships and connect working group members and food access advocates and organizations across the region that had previously not been connected. These connections have led to new collaborations, such as those highlighted in the recent Emergency Food Program Infrastructure Grants.

In addition to the directory, the working group developed The NRV Food Access Report with data on the extent of food insecurity in the region, barriers to food access for both individuals and hunger relief organizations, and stories of innovative programs and partnerships in the region.

The directory and report will benefit both social service providers and individuals seeking resources. Executive Director of the CFNRV, Jessica Wirgau, said, “The dual outcomes of producing more collaboration among food access providers and raising awareness about their services and offerings in a central, easy to access location is a huge win for the NRV. I hope community members and social service providers will use the directory to visit the many organizations already serving our area, and use the data and stories shared in the report to support and inspire further efforts to address food insecurity in our community.

The directory can be accessed at: Individuals can learn more about the Thrive Initiative and the Food Access Network here: For more information, contact Jessica Wirgau at If you would like to make a donation to help tackle food security challenges in the NRV you can make a donation to the Community Foundation at:

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