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Local groups starts second food fund drive

Grassroots organization Charlottesville Community Cares on Tuesday launched its second mutual aid fundraising campaign to provide emergency food relief directly to community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group, in partnership with local clergy organization Congregate Charlottesville, hopes to raise $50,000 to provide grants and grocery assistance to regional agencies and families. The effort is called #50forFood.

The money will help vulnerable groups struggling to keep food on the table, organizers said, including neighboring rural counties that lack food support infrastructure and area immigrants.

“We know that many community members are looking for ways to support those most impacted by the pandemic. #50forFood asks them to donate all or part of their stimulus checks to support our food insecure neighbors,” said Christina Rivera, co-president of Congregate Charlottesville.

The effort is the second by Charlottesville Community Cares, with its first campaign assisting more than 1,000 families with $155,000 in grants and more than $40,000 in grocery assistance since March.

Donations are being accepted online at Checks are accepted if made to Congregate Charlottesville, PO Box 2293, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22902. All donations are tax-deductible.

Citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation that everyone wear a facemask when in public, officials with the local transportation service JAUNT on Tuesday asked all passengers to wear face coverings.

“It helps protect both the passenger and the JAUNT driver,” officials said in a statement. “JAUNT passengers know it is difficult for our staff to maintain a physical distance of six feet when providing assistance and securing wheelchairs.”

The service is not requiring passengers wear masks but asked them to do as an additional level of protection from COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus.

On Tuesday, James Madison University announced the rescheduling of graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 for Aug. 6, 7 and 8.

The commencement will commence providing that social distancing requirements have been lifted by that date, officials said.


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