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

Pam Newsletter

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”!