Donations needed at food drive Nov. 18-20 on Peninsula – The Virginian-Pilot

Regarding “Feeding Our Hungry Neighbours” (Our Views, November 2): The editorial could not have come at a more urgent time. As the prices of many basic necessities (food, rent, utilities, transportation) have increased by up to 40%, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and our partner agencies are receiving increasing requests for food assistance, while the amount of food donations has decreased considerably. In October, we served 15% more people than in October 2021. These numbers are limited by our ability to transport the appropriate amount of food to our mobile pantry locations, so we know the need is in fact higher. At our recent monthly mobile pantry at the Hampton Coliseum, which normally operates from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., we reached capacity at 9:30 a.m., even after adding enough food for 50 additional households.

We currently rely on purchased food to make up for the lack of donated food. However, in addition to increasing the cost of purchased food, supply chain delays make it difficult to maintain a reliable supply of purchased food for our partner agencies. This is where our generous Peninsula community comes in.

The 26th annual Mayflower Marathon Food Drive will take place Nov. 18-20 at the Kroger on Mercury Boulevard in Hampton and the Kroger on Victory Boulevard in Yorktown. This 24-hour food drive is an opportunity to ensure that our neighbors in need will have the nutritious food essential for good health. We will be accepting turkeys, canned goods and cash to help restock our shelves. We look forward to welcoming our generous donors to this drive-in event.

Karen Joyner, CEO, Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, Suffolk

If Gov. Glenn Youngkin really wants to be recognized for improving the academic performance of Virginia students, he will support school districts that want to restrict cellphone access. You don’t need to have worked in a high school like me to know that young people are addicted to their use of the telephone. All you have to do is watch teens stare at their phones while walking around oblivious to everything around them.

Learning loss due to prolonged school closures and reliance on distance learning can be eliminated. In addition to reducing cellphone distraction in academia, we should eliminate long summer vacations that were initiated based on the food growing season. Spread shorter breaks throughout the year and remember that these respites are meant to be a period of refreshment after hard work. School calendars should be extended to 190 days, as is the case in Finland’s highly respected system. Let’s commit to English and math lessons of up to 20 students, so teachers can teach more effectively. Above all, the old village sages among us should hammer into the heads of the young people that they cannot entertain themselves in order to become well-educated.

If Youngkin is serious about improving education, he will encourage meaningful change and not pander to parent groups, encourage us to be afraid of historical truths, punish teenagers who genuinely work on issues of gender identity and will play the blame game on COVID-19-related learning loss.

David Meyerholz, Virginia Beach

Regarding “Virginia Stepping Up to Help Reduce Road Deaths” (Our Views, Nov. 9): The editorial says Virginia is willing to spend $672.4 million on highway infrastructure to make safer roads. Some infrastructure investment will help, but what is needed is for Virginia drivers to take responsibility.

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It is obvious that when you drive on our streets and highways, there are insecure drivers who cause problems (speeding, red lights on, changing lanes without signaling, etc.). Driving is a privilege, not a right. Try driving at the speed limit on our freeways and major streets, and you’ll see how many people break city and state speed limits. The police and the gendarmerie need help. Investing in speed cameras and red light cameras would do more to save lives. As stated in the editorial, it is the driver’s responsibility to make our highways safe. I know more tickets would save lives.

Arthur Garrenton, Virginia Beach

Re “Gas Prices” (Your Views, November 5): John Gladden is right that our government does not control world oil prices. Our government controls policies that would encourage or discourage oil companies to invest in producing more oil or refining more gas. The Biden administration has said it wants to end the use of fossil fuels and shut down the oil industry and has implemented regulations and policies that discourage oil production and refining.

President Joe Biden may not be pricing our gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil, but his policies are directly responsible for the rising costs we are experiencing.

Helmut Walter, Yorktown

The UN is a paper lamb incapable of stopping the aggression of one country against another. Russia has invaded Ukraine, but the UN can’t do anything about it. So what is the value of a United Nations that cannot act against its rogue members? It was designed so that members of the Security Council could not be held responsible for their aggression.

Larry Wexler, Virginia Beach

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