SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — On Tuesday, the Salem/Roanoke County Food Pantry held a packing event for its Snack Buddy program before the new school year kicks off.

The rising cost of food is putting an extra strain on food pantries as more families try to find ways to make ends meet, but the pantry is preparing to send food to schools across Salem and Roanoke County.

The food pantry director, Mickey Estienne, says the organization partners with more than 40 elementary schools and preschools.

“We try to make the bags that we’ll send to the schools as healthy as possible,” said Estienne. “Of course, we can’t send peanuts because some kids are allergic to peanuts, but we’ll try to make them as healthy and… snacks that a child would like to have.”

He adds that all the snacks have to be very uniform, so to help out with this particular project, donating money is better than normal food pantry drop-offs.

Donations to the Salem/Roanoke County Food Pantry can be sent to P.O. Box 288, Salem, VA 24153. You can also make out checks to the Salem/Roanoke County Food Pantry.