The hashtag #impactsouthside seems just right for a large, drive-up food pantry that drew an estimated 500 families to Woda Cooper’s affordable multifamily community, The Banks at Berkley (Banks) located on the south side of Norfolk, VA. The event was held August 15, 2020, in the housing community’s parking lot.
When a local grocery store closed a few years ago, the event’s organizer Wanda Ferguson, Banks’ Community Manager, started organizing food donations for residents in need at her community and she volunteers at food drives throughout the Hampton Roads area. “Helping people is my passion,” she says.
She set her sights on organizing a large one-day food pantry and knew just what to do. Wanda sought fresh produce donations and enlisted The Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore to bring several food trucks. She put out a call for help and approximately 60 willing volunteers, including many Banks residents and other local citizens, pitched in to set up tables and tents, organize food, and assist patrons at the event held in the Banks’ parking lot. People lined up for four hours.
“I wanted to make sure every household from the Berkley Bridge to the Campostella Bridge got food,” said Wanda, who was assisted in this fabulous endeavor by Woda Cooper Senior Service Technician Edward Reycraft. Way to go, Wanda and Eddie!