Roanoke, VA (September 27, 2017) – Feeding America Southwest Virginia (FASWVA), a local nonprofit food bank and a national affiliate member of the Feeding America network, has connected to the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority’s (RVBA) Open Access Network to achieve consistent upload and download speeds of 50 megabits per second at their Salem, VA Distribution Center and Administrative Offices.

“I’m tasked with finding technology solutions that help us to optimize the gifts we receive from donors, it is not the part of the mission you hear about most but it’s an important component in how we ultimately end up feeding the hungry” Erich Geist, Feeding America Southwest Virginia’s Information Technology Director said.

FASWVA collects and distributes over $26 million worth of food and grocery products across 26 counties and 9 cities. Their local network includes 332 partner feeding programs.

“I spoke with the RVBA staff about how to get a more reliable, high speed internet solution that would support better site communications and advance the greater mission of FASWVA,” Geist continued. “Frank [Smith], Jim [Bandy] and all the folks at the RVBA quickly embraced the importance of our mission and delivered a clear, easy solution right away. They were great to work with.”

Feeding America Southwest Virginia uses their high-speed internet connection for data capture and analysis, enterprise resource planning, multi-site and affiliate communications as well as audio, video and organizational file sharing.

“Like many of the organizations joining the RVBA network, Feeding America has modern business needs that require reliable, responsive and high-speed internet connectivity to conduct daily tasks as effectively and efficiently as its stakeholders expect and require,” Frank Smith, President and CEO of the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority said. “We are pleased to provide these services to the region, and to non-profits like Feeding America, at prices that meet sustainable business and financial performance goals.”

“The bid we received from RVBA was superior to any other we received, offering improved bandwidth for a really great price.,” Geist said. “I have seen a significant performance increase since connecting and I was delightfully surprised at how seamless the transition ended up being.”

About Feeding America Southwest Virginia

Feeding America Southwest Virginia was founded locally in 1981 and proudly commemorates 36 years of fighting hunger and changing lives through community partnerships. For the last three and a half decades, the Food Bank’s ultimate mission has remained the same: eliminate hunger in the region. The primary function of the Food Bank is to secure and distribute large quantities of food for Southwest Virginia’s hungry. Approximately $26.5 million worth of food and grocery related products are channeled annually through a network of more than 330 partner feeding programs in our 26-county, 9-city region that provide food or meals to those in need. The local Food Bank is an affiliate member of Feeding America.  Visit for more information.

About the RVBA 

In 2011, at the urging of several concerned citizens and local business owners, four regional municipalities (The City of Salem, The City of Roanoke, Roanoke County and The County of Botetourt) four municipalities took action to form the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA). The goal was to expand the regional broadband infrastructure and make it easier for both new and existing providers to deploy their technology across the Roanoke Valley. The RVBA was tasked with driving measurable improvements to fiber-optic Internet accessibility, affordability, reliability, and Internet speeds for the purposes of advancing the long-term economic prospects of the region. After a nine-month build out, in April of 2016, the new regional, carrier-grade, open-access network was launched with great public fanfare. In September of 2016, the RVBA was promptly recognized with the Virginia Governor’s Award for Technology and called out as a shining example of cross-boundary collaboration. Since then the RVBA has been held up nationally as an example of how community based broadband initiatives can drive innovation, attract private investment, and advance local economic opportunity.

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