THE LANDING LOVE PROJECT was originally created by Bruno and Tiffany Silva, owners of The Landing Restaurant, in March 2020 to SUPPORT, FEED & LOVE at-risk families and seniors in the greater Smith Mountain Lake region. The idea to start a feeding program evolved from the need that arose when area schools were closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, over the course of our first month of operation we knew we were solving an immediate need but not providing a long-term solution. Many of these same food-challenged families would also benefit from literacy support programs. Our intent is to provide a safe space where we can not only feed these families but also address literacy challenges by providing mentoring and tutoring assistance for both children and adults.
It has been over 20 months since we started The Landing Love Project. With your continued support we have been able to provide over 100,000 meals to families and seniors in our community struggling with food insecurity. In Southwest Virginia 1 in 5 children suffer from hunger. Poverty in our region was higher than the 9.3% state average prior to COVID 19 and has only increased since the pandemic began.
The Landing Love Project’s service area is geographically vast, spanning 2 rural counties, with many struggling to just feed their family. We continue to assist over 40 families, feeding close to 1000 meals a week.
When we first started The Landing Love Project it was in response to the immediate need for help based on the COVID 19 Pandemic. We now recognize that there are so many families and seniors struggling within our community that we are dedicated to continue to do our best to support those in need.
Ultimately, our goal is to secure a facility so these additional services can be provided in a physical space that is safe and conveniently located. We are currently brainstorming and drawing input to see what properties may be available and in a mutually accessible location for both Bedford and Franklin counties.
The facility would allow students to arrive after school where we can provide a nourishing meal and utilize volunteers to provide tutoring for students. We will also have a separate learning area dedicated to adult education. The adult programs would aid with the following: improve reading skills, obtaining GEDs, resume writing and job searches. We would utilize volunteers drawn from current, student teachers and retirees for this program.
On the food provision side of the operation, The Landing Love Cafe will be open to the public and will serve meals throughout the day. This is a donation-based café where everyone can have a meal and those who are able may donate. Bruno also envisions this kitchen as an opportunity to teach children and adults how to shop and prepare good healthy meals on a budget. Thus, we will offer free cooking classes to any families who want to attend. As we progress, we will expand training to those who wish to secure jobs in the service industry. As with the literacy component, we will also utilize volunteers to help staff the kitchen and prepare meals.
If you or someone you know has an immediate need please send us an email at [email protected] and we will try to help. Daily updates can be found on the side of this page.
Please email us at [email protected] if you would like to get involved.