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Healthy pop-up stands planned

Three healthy pop-up stand giveaways are planned to take place for the holiday season.

Healthy Suffolk is partnering with churches and organizations to offer healthy food to the city for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Healthy Suffolk is a nonprofit organization that has worked for the past 15 years to advance wellness and livability for Suffolk.

Its three pop-up produce stands will make their way around different areas of Suffolk. The first will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 23 at the East Suffolk Recreation Center parking lot, 138 S. Sixth St., and the second from 10 a.m. to noon on Nov. 24, at Oakland Christian Church, 5641 Godwin Blvd. The third is planned for December in the Holland area, with the exact time and location to be determined.

“Really, everyone wants a good Thanksgiving feast, and we want to help provide that and promote a healthy one, too,” said Shelley Butler Barlow.

This event will be the first year that Healthy Suffolk has provided food in this format. Last year, the executive director for Healthy Suffolk, Regina Brayboy, distributed food to those at East Suffolk Recreation Center on a much smaller scale.

“It was really well received, and we wanted to do that again, especially in the present circumstances,” said Barlow.

These pop-up stands will be in a drive-through only setup and follow all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure everyone stays safe. Volunteers will put the premade bags of food in the trunks of cars for a touchless process.

At these pop-up stands, the goal is to have 25 bags of food to hand out. They will have fresh produce, nonperishables, and small gift cards to help purchase other needs.

The only way Healthy Suffolk can make this happen is through donations. The organization has reached out to churches and other organizations, like the Ruritan Club, that focus on helping those in need.

“We are aiming for 25 bags, because we had to set something as the goal without knowing the participation,” said Barlow. “Hopefully, we have a good turnout with donations. I wrestled with the idea of sign up, but it’s hard being a small organization with limited staff. We are looking for both donations and recipients.”

To help, drop off any donations between 8 and 10 a.m. on Nov. 21 at Oakland Christian Church. Cash donations to sponsor fresh produce purchases and support these events are appreciated and can be offered at healthysuffolkva.org/donate or mailed to Healthy Suffolk, 425 W. Washington St., Suite 4, Suffolk. Any extra non-perishables will be saved for the December giveaway.

Those who would like to donate their time either at a stand or preparing bags can contact Healthy Suffolk at 757-414-7652 or email info@healthysuffolkva.org.