Community News


Originally published in the Summer 2022 edition of The Virginia Defender, issue 69, printed July 27. Reproduced here for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Summer 2022 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

By Whitney Moore

Feed the Streets RVA is a nonprofit organization that provides food and other essentials to the Richmond community. With eight members on the executive board, it was started by a close group of friends who all shared a passion for giving back.

“We love the work and do it because we are passionate about it,” stated Alexis Stevens, the organization’s public relations representative, during an interview with The Virginia Defender.

Members and allies of Feed the Streets RVA volunteer their time to prepare items for their first Hygiene Pantry, which offers needed everyday products free to the community. Photo by Whitney Moore.

Feed the Streets RVA supports the local community with multiple events each month, such as Cookouts for A Cause; Angel Tree drives; Hygiene Pantries; Cool Down (distributing water and other essentials during the summer); City Kids (mentoring youth); providing meals for the holidays; and helping people pay their bills during the pandemic.

“Our name says everything,” stated Stevens. “We started in 2016, hitting the streets to provide people with essentials and grew from there. We’re here for anyone in need, in any way. If we don’t have the resources, then we can connect you to the right people.”

On April 30, Feed the Streets RVA unveiled its first Hygiene Pantry, located behind Mount Olivet Church in the 1200 block of 25th Street in Church Hill, across from a recently renovated basketball court.

“It was a huge hit, and the plan is to have four locations by the end of the year,” Stevens said.

The pantry is decorated in pink and blue colors, with a written invitation to “Take what you need, leave what you can.” The pantry is filled with items such as feminine products, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo and conditioner. Everything is completely free and open to anyone in need. People can take individual items or a hygiene kit at their discretion.

On Saturday, June 25, volunteers, including members of the Virginia Defenders, joined the staff of Feed the Streets RVA for their Hygiene Pantry “Refill Day.” Some people gathered around tables and put together hygiene kits, lunches and snack packs, while others assisted with collecting the donations that were being dropped off.

Two hundred and fifty “grab-and-go” bags were made, along with 50 lunches for the houseless community and snack bags for RISE For Youth’s leadership program. Words of inspiration and encouragement were written on the bags in hopes of bringing a smile to someone’s day.

To request assistance, check out programs and events, schedule donation drop offs and sign up to volunteer, contact Feed the Streets RVA on their website here.

Regardless of one’s situation or income level, Feed the Streets RVA is out there making sure our Richmond community has access to the essentials that many take for granted.

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