Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Virginia Association of Broadcasters Launch ‘Feeding Virginia’

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RICHMOND, VA- This week, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and the Virginia Association of Broadcasters launched Feeding Virginia, a year-long campaign against hunger. This is a first-of-its-kind partnership between a state’s First Family and all members of a state broadcast association.

Feeding Virginia is a year-long hunger awareness campaign benefiting all seven regional food banks across the Commonwealth by raising funds and increasing donations of food. The campaign will begin July 1 and will be supported by more than 150 local radio and television stations across Virginia, in collaboration with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.

The First Lady will serve as the spokesperson for the campaign and she and Governor Terry McAuliffe will work with the VAB to promote Feeding Virginia. Together they will appear in a variety of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) supporting the program in the coming year.

“The Governor and I are passionate about making sure all Virginians have access to healthy meals and are supported in their times of need,” said Mrs. McAuliffe.  “I truly believe that collaborations like this are what it takes to solve challenges facing our communities and our economy and I commend the VAB for taking on this campaign to help end hunger in the Commonwealth.”

The campaign will begin with VAB member stations airing PSAs throughout the summer to raise awareness of the summer meals service.

The federal summer meals program helps low-income children get the healthy food they need when school is out.  These free, healthy meals are available to children and teens age 18 and under, but in Virginia, only 17.6 percent of children who receive a free or reduced-price lunch during the school year are participating in the summer meals program.

PSAs being run on local television and radio stations will let families know to text ‘Food’ to 877-877 or dial 1-866-3HUNGRY to locate the closest summer feeding site.

In the months ahead VAB member radio and television stations will promote and support Feeding Virginia through news coverage, promotion of local food bank events, and the airing of Public Service Announcements designed to generate funds, food, and awareness across the state.

Virginia Association of Broadcasters Announces Statewide Food Drive to Support Federation Members

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Charlottesville, Va. – June 05, 2014 – The Virginia Association of Broadcasters (VAB) today announced a year-long campaign to support all seven regional food banks in Virginia by raising funds and increasing donations of food.  The campaign, Feeding Virginia, will begin July 1 and will be supported by more than 150 local radio and television stations across Virginia, in collaboration with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.  The announcement was made by Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, who was at Coleman Place Elementary School in Norfolk, VA to kick off the start of the Summer Meals Program, which provides free, healthful meals to low-income children when school is out.

The First Lady has accepted an invitation to serve as the spokesperson for the 12-month VAB campaign.  She and Gov. Terry McAuliffe will work with the VAB to promote Feeding Virginia, and together they will appear in a variety Public Service Announcements (PSAs) supporting the program in the coming year.

The Feeding Virginia campaign will begin with all VAB member stations airing PSAs supporting the Summer Meals Program.  In the months ahead VAB member radio and television stations will promote and support Feeding Virginia through news coverage, promotion of local food bank events, and the airing of Public Service Announcements designed to generate funds, food, and awareness across the state.

“While they have long been a pillar in our communities and a strong advocate in the fight against hunger – the commitment from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters to launch a year-long, hunger awareness campaign on July 1st is a huge step forward,” said Mrs. McAuliffe. “All seven regional food banks in Virginia will benefit, as will all Virginia families, as local broadcasters work to raise awareness of important programs like the summer meals service.”

“Our local radio and television stations take great pride in the work we do to build up our local communities,” said VAB President Brad Ramsey.  “This is the first time our thousands of employees across the state have united in a common cause, and we are incredibly excited to make an impact in every corner of Virginia on this important issue.”

The primary mission of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks is to feed hungry Virginians.  In 2013 the Federation’s network (list below) distributed more than 137 million pounds of food to more than 1 million individuals through more than 1,900 member agencies across the state.  The agencies operate soup kitchens, after school programs, domestic violence shelters, individual household distribution and more.

Federation of Virginia Food Banks Executive Director Leslie Van Horn commented on today’s announcement: “Since 2006 we’ve seen a 54% increase in need, and the need continues to grow.  We are thrilled that Virginia’s local broadcasters have decided to support our efforts, and I know this campaign will make a huge difference in our fight against hunger.”

2014 Legal Food Frenzy Winners Announced

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We are proud to announce the winners of the 8th Annual Statewide “Legal Food Frenzy” food and fund drive competition. This competition, a partnership between the Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks,  raised the equivalent of over 1.4 million pounds of food and grocery products. The winners will be celebrated at an awards reception at the Executive Mansion in Richmond on July 22nd.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, the honorary chair of the statewide event, stated in his press release: “It was an honor to continue the Statewide Legal Food Frenzy with our excellent partners in the legal community and the worthy recipients at the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. During this year’s competition I had the chance to visit some of the incredible food bank facilities operated by the Federation and I was again amazed at the work they do every day to meet a serious need in our communities. At a time when donations are down and requests for assistance are up, every contribution can make a real impact in the lives of our fellow Virginians.” We would like to thank all the participants as well as the Federation member food bank staff for another wonderful competition!

Please join us in congratulating this year’s winners in the following categories:

Attorney General’s Cup Winner: B. Cullen Gibson (Norfolk)
Per Capita: 20,360 pounds per person

Small (1-20) Law Firms

“The Brunswick Stew Award”: Roussos, Lassiter, Glanzer & Barnhart, P.L.C. (Norfolk)
Total Pounds: 20,600 pounds

“The Shenandoah Apple Award”: Murphy & McGonigle, P.C. (Richmond)
Per Capita:  1,184 pounds per person

Medium (21-100) Law Firms

“The James River Shad Award”Christian & Barton LLP (Richmond)
Total Pounds:99,995 pounds

“The Hanover Tomato Award”:  Christian & Barton LLP (Richmond)
Per Capita: 1,205 pounds per person

Large (101 and up) Law Firms

“The Smithfield Ham Award”: McGuireWoods LLP (all locations) 
Total Pounds: 275,039 pounds

“The Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Award”: Vandeventer Black LLP (all locations)
Per Capita:  495 pounds per person

 Sole Proprietor (1-2) Law Firm

“The Virginia Peanut Award”: Howell Law Group PLLC (Norfolk)
Total Pounds:  5,350 pounds

Law School Winner of Attorney General’s Cup: William & Mary Law School (Williamsburg)
4,961 pounds

Government and Public Service

“The Urbanna Oyster Award”: Office of the Attorney General (Richmond)
Total Pounds:  68,215 pounds

“The Old Dominion Soybean Award”: Prince William County Attorney’s Office
Per Capita: 1,339 pounds per person

Legal Department

“The Virginia Strawberry Award”: Norfolk Southern Corporation Legal Department (Norfolk)
Per Capita:  682 pounds per person

Feeding America Releases 2014 Map the Meal Gap

Feeding America, nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity, has just released the 2014 Map the Meal Gap report. This data helps the Feeding America network, including the Federation of Virginia Food Banks and its members, better understand the problem of hunger down to the local level.

The concept of the “meal gap” is an idea that helps explain the gap between meals available to individuals and meals needed by individuals. This report also uses local prices and income levels to determine the funds needed to close that meal gap. A more complete explanation of this concept is located here.

The following documents provide 2014 Virginia data.

2014 Map the Meal Gap – Overview of Virginia: This is a graphic representation of Virginia data.

2014 Map the Meal Gap – Data By City and County: This is a list of all cities and counties in Virginia with their Meal Gap data.

Map the Meal Gap’s food insecurity rates are determined using data from the 2001-2012 Current Population Survey on individuals in food insecure households; data from the 2012 American Community Survey on median household incomes, poverty rates, homeownership, and race and ethnic demographics; and 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on unemployment rates.

If you would like to dig deeper in this data or data from around the country, please visit Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap page.

Federation Board of Directors Chair, Pamela Irvine, Awarded 2014 Dick Goebel Public Service Award

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Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, awarded Pamela Irvine, President and CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia, with the 2014 Dick Goebel Public Service Award for outstanding commitment to ending hunger in her community and across the country.The award was announced on Monday, March 3rd at the 2014 National Anti-Hunger Policy conference, a gathering in Washington, D.C. of anti-hunger advocates, sponsored by Feeding America and the Food Research Action Center (FRAC).

Bob Aiken, President and Chief Executive Officer of Feeding America remarked during the presentation, “Despite limited resources and no full time staff for policy work, Pam has made an abiding commitment to advocacy. If you ask her, Pam will tell you that advocacy is ultimately about raising food and funds, and has urged her colleagues to treat their members of Congress like they would treat major supporters. Her strategy works. She has spent years cultivating strong relationships with elected officials on both sides of the aisle and at all levels of government. And they’ve paid off.”

“Pam embodies the same passion and spirit that made Dick Goebel so remarkable. She is proof that a simple combination of commitment, tenacity and savvy is far more important than the size of your budget when it comes to effective advocacy. It is my great pleasure to honor Pamela Irvine with the 2014 Dick Goebel Public Service Award.”

Irvine has served as President and CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia since 1981. In this capacity she oversees the distribution of more than 20 million pounds food each year through a network of 398 food pantries, meal sites, and after-school programs throughout the 26 county service area.

Irvine currently chairs the Federation of Virginia Food Banks composed of seven Virginia and Washington D.C. food banks located in 10 strategic locations. Irvine also participates as a member of several important Feeding America committees including the Business Solutions Council, the Contract Task Force and is an elected member of the National Advisory Council.

The Dick Goebel Public Service Award was created in 2001 in honor of the Reverend Richard (Dick) Goebel for his many years of public service on behalf of hungry Americans. As founder and executive director of the Second Harvest St. Paul Food Bank in St. Paul, Minn. (now Second Harvest Heartland), Dick’s dedicated service left a lasting legacy. Recipients of the Dick Goebel Public Service Award exemplify service to their communities, extensive public policy advocacy, and tireless enthusiasm and creativity in developing solutions to ending hunger both locally and nationally.

We join Feeding America, Inc. and Feeding America of Southwest Virginia in congratulating Pam Irvine for this well-deserved award.

 

Food Desert Task Force Releases Report

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The Food Desert Task Force was created in 2013 to study the current status of food deserts in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Made up of experts in agriculture, commerce, vulnerable populations, food banks, and  food systems, this task force included the Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, Leslie Van Horn.

The report “identifies challenges, consequences, strategies, and resources to address food deserts and offers recommendations for the General Assembly’s consideration and action.”

The Task Force was formed after Delegate Delores McQuinn’s introduction of House Joint Resolution 88 in 2012 and then her reintroduction of House Joint Resolution 646 the following year, both requesting that the Virginia General Assembly review the issue of food deserts in Virginia. The Honorable William Howell, Speaker of the House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly, commissioned two Virginia college deans to conduct a study of food deserts, who in turn assembled the Food Desert Task Force.

The complete report can be found here.

A county-specific map showing food insecurity rates layered with food desert data can be found here.

Epic Basketball Games Raise Funds for Virginia’s Food Banks

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The Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic 2013 brings together Virginia  basketball teams to show off the Commonwealth’s athletic skills as well as raise funds for the members of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. This year’s event takes place on December 21, 2013 at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA. Tickets can now be purchased through the competing teams’ ticket offices. Those teams are:

Hampton v. JMU at 3 pm

Virginia Tech vs. VCU at 5 pm

Last year, this event raised almost $50,000 for Federation food banks. These food banks together serve over 1 million individuals per year and distributed over 122 million pounds of food and grocery product last year alone.

 

Wawa’s Check-Out Hunger Campaign Starts Today!

From Monday, November 25 – December 29, 2013 Virginia’s Wawa stores will be participating in their “Check-Out Hunger” campaign, which allows customers to donate to their local food bank from store registers. Last year, this campaign raised over $50,000 – a 96% increase from the previous year – for food banks across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To participate, go to any Virginia Wawa location and look for the “Check-Out Hunger” tickets at the register. You, too, can help Virginia “Check-Out Hunger”!