Hunger Action Month is a nationwide initiative started by Feeding America, the nation’s largest anti-hunger charity, of which the FVFB is a Partner State Association. The goal of this series of events is to not only spread awareness of hunger issues, but also motivate individuals to take action to help solve these issues. Across the nation, food banks and partner state associations hold events and create targeted outreach to make a different in their communities. There are several key events which the FVFB actively coordinates during Hunger Action Month: “Step by Step – Together We Can Solve Hunger” Campaign Amos Desjardins, a well-known marathon runner from Northern Virginia, will embark on a 500-mile journey through Virginia starting August 30th in support of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. His goal is to raise food, money and awareness to fight hunger while bringing attention to the challenges faced by Virginia as shown in results of the first Virginia Food Desert study released in January 2014. His itinerary includes stops at food banks and running stores where he will bring attention to the issues of food-insecurity in Virginia. This event is garnering interest from elected officials in the areas he is running through, specifically areas where hunger and food access are a concern. Amos and Federation representatives will be present when he concludes his 500-mile course at the State Capital on September 4th, where we hope that our Governor will be greeting him upon his arrival. This entire project is being coordinated with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks and is the first event of its kind to take place with the FVFB. Turning Orange Mobilizing a community to take action requires a well-coordinated campaign to bring attention to the target problem. “Turning Orange” is a kick-off event focused on getting the word out about Hunger Action Month and the official color of hunger – orange. The FVFB and members engage Virginia businesses, government agencies, and individuals to wear or display the color orange on September 4th and to continue for the month. This is a simple way to show solidarity and call attention to the month’s events. Past accomplishments have included displaying orange ribbons and lighting of the Executive Mansion in Richmond. Elected Official Volunteer Day Many Virginians, including elected officials, do not know how hunger affects their community or how food banks play a role in assisting through emergency food. Numbers and statistics about hunger, however grim, may not make an impression on an elected official inundated with data every day. Bringing those numbers to life by engaging elected officials in the day-to-day operations of their local food bank is the focus of Elected Officials Volunteer Day (September 4). Now in its fourth year, this event invites elected officials to sort cans, fill backpacks, or any number of other tasks for a few hours at their local food bank. This hands-on activity allows them to see how efficient their food bank operates, as well as see first-hand how it impacts the community. They learn how hunger affects their constituents as well as what services the food bank is providing. This critical experience puts a face on hunger, and leaves a lasting impression on the elected official. For example, one past participant learned that his district was served by his food bank’s diabetes-focused mobile pantry, and now he and his wife volunteer with that pantry regularly. This kind of personal experience can lead to more informed decision-making. Virginia Day To Serve Community mobilization towards a shared goal enables a group to come together in service, reinforcing the bonds that lead to long-lasting change. “Day to Serve” is an interfaith initiative to motivate groups to choose a local anti-hunger charity (food bank or partner agency) and volunteer for a day. In two neighboring states and the District of Columbia, volunteer events will take place between September 11 to September 28. Volunteer groups enter their events on the “Day to Serve” website, where an interactive map shows all the projects going on around the state. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and his wife have committed to supporting this event, while official proclamations across the Commonwealth have been presented to recognize the significance of “Day to Serve.” Last year, over 1300 service events took place, involving more than 45,000 volunteers. AARP Community Food Drive September is brimming with additional events to mobilize the public to take action and help solve hunger during Hunger Action Montha. Several statewide food drives with national partners take place, including the “Virginia Community Food Drive” with the Virginia AARP Office from September 8 – 15. We hope you can participate in a few of these events, and don’t forget to wear orange on September 4th!
Starting August 29: Amos Desjardins to Run Across Virginia to Raise Awareness of Hunger in Commonwealth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Leslie Van Horn
Federation of Virginia Food Banks
Office: (757) 314.4572
Cell: (757) 580.8771
Amos Desjardins to Run Across Virginia to Raise Awareness of Hunger in Commonwealth
Run Begins in Alexandria Saturday; Covers “500 Miles in 5 Days”
Full Schedule of “Step by Step: Together We Can Solve Hunger” Run Available Below
NORFOLK- Most people will be enjoying these last days of summer this weekend by being outdoors, cooking out and perhaps taking that last 3 day trip for awhile. But at least one individual will spend the holiday weekend running. And running. And running a little bit more. That would be Amos Desjardins, a marathon runner, who will leave Alexandria this Saturday morning, August 30th at 6 am to begin his “500 miles in 5 days” campaign to raise awareness of hunger in the Commonwealth.
Over the course of his run Amos will cross Virginia from historic Alexandria to Charlottesville, down to the State Capitol in Richmond and up through Fredericksburg, all before concluding back in Old Town Alexandria Wednesday night. Over the course of his run Amos will be stopping by Food Banks in the Commonwealth and visiting with local elected officials.
(A full daily schedule of the run can be found at the end of this release.)
Amos has partnered in this endeavor with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, a partner state association of Feeding America that represents the 7 Food Banks in Virginia/DC and their 1,900 partner agencies. Food Banks provide emergency food to almost 1.2 million individuals in need on an annual basis, and last year provided over 142 million pounds of food and grocery products to those in need.
Amos Desjardins is well known in the running world and started getting serious about his hobby when he was in graduate school and looking for a healthy outlet for stress. Along the way he became a dedicated runner, and he’s using his passion to promote a cause near and dear to his heart, and crucial to Virginia’s future: ending hunger. Amos selected the Federation of Virginia Food Banks as his partner in this effort because of their service to communities across the state and he hopes this run will serve to raise awareness of food insecurity issues and how they affect those struggling to put food on their tables.
Leslie Van Horn, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks loves seeing people’s reactions when she tells them about the “500 miles in 5 Days” campaign. She noted, “We are so honored that Amos has selected the Federation as his charity of choice on this run and his timing could not be better as we embark on Hunger Action Month in September.”
Amos will not only be raising awareness of hunger but also raising funds in support of his run. Those wishing to donate can go to https://www.crowdrise.com/500in5 or www.vafoodbanks.org/donate/ .
Full Schedule of “500 Miles in 5 Days”- Media Are Invited and Encouraged to Cover These Stops
Day 1, Saturday, August 30th
Mile 0: Hitting the Road
The base of King St. (@ Union St), Alexandria, VA
Mile 21.5: Aid Station with Delegate Keam
Church Street and W&OD Trail, Vienna, VA
Mile 26: Aid Station @ Pacers Fairfax
Pacers in Fairfax, Virginia
Mile 40: Run thru Reston, VA (no scheduled aid station)
Mile 49: Run thru Ashburn, VA (no scheduled aid station)
Mile 60: Run thru Leesburg, VA (no scheduled aid station)
Mile 85: Run thru Berryville, VA (no scheduled aid station)
Day 2, Sunday, August 31st
Mile 101: Start of Day 2
Hampton Inn North Convention Center Winchester, VA in Winchester, Virginia
Mile 169: Aid Station
The Quad, James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia
Day 3, Monday, September 1st
Mile 201: Start of Day 3
Hampton Inn Waynesboro/Stuart Draft, in Fishersville, Virginia
Mile 229: Aid Station @ Ragged Mountain Running
Ragged Mountain Running Shop in Charlottesville, Virginia
Mile 233: Run By @ Thomas Jefferson Area Food Bank
in Charlottesville, Virginia
Day 4, Tuesday, September 2nd
Mile 310: Start of Day 4
Hampton Inn & Suites in Henrico, Virginia
Mile 305: Aid Station @ VA Runner
VA Runner in Richmond, Virginia
Mile 309: VA State Capital
in Richmond, Virginia
Mile 311: Run By@ FeedMore
in Richmond, Virginia
Mile 370: Run By@ Fredericksburg Area Food Bank
Mile 375: Aid Station @ VA Runner
VA Runner in Fredericksburg, Virginia
Day 5, Wednesday, September 3rd
Mile 400: Start of Day 5
Mile 457: Aid Station @ Capital Area Food Bank/NOVA
in Lorton, Virginia
Mile 470: Aid Station Aid Station with Delegate Bulova
Pacers Fairfax in Fairfax, Virginia
Mile 487: Aid Station @ Pacers
Pacers Clarendon in Arlington, Virginia
Mile 500 Finish line Party @ Pacers
Pacers of Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia
Amos Desjardins will run 500 miles in VA in just 5 days bringing awareness to hunger in Virginia and raise money for the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.
Beginning on Saturday August 30th Amos Desjardins, in partnership with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, will be embarking upon an amazing 500-mile journey through Virginia to help raise money and awareness to fight hunger and food deserts within Virginia. Over this journey Amos will take 1,000,000 steps – each step representing an individual in Virginia currently struggling with knowing where their next meal will come from.
Amos will begin the record setting 500-mile journey in his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia and see him travel west to Winchester, south and east through Harrisburg, Charlottesville and Richmond, before heading north to finish in Old Town Alexandria. Along the way Amos will benefit from water/aid stops at several local running stores – where food donations will be collected by the support team – providing him with an opportunity to hydrate, refuel, and connect with locals who are interested in running with him.
Desjardins has created a Crowdrise campaign to enable supporters to donate directly to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. Follow his live tweets at #500in5VA and @RunOnVeggies.
July 30, 2014 – RICHMOND – The Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia (BBAV) announced today that their members are teaming up with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks to raise funds for their local Feeding America Food Bank during the month of August. The Bed & Breakfast locations are spread across the Commonwealth of Virginia, which will provide many different food banks with crucial supplies.
“Speaking about the “Fighting Hunger within Virginia” campaign,” said Cynthia Bruce, President of BBAV, “many people are unaware that summertime is actually the most taxing part of the year for the food banks. The drives that filled their shelves in the spring have dwindled into nothing and the drives that are planned in the fall come too late to feed those that come to seek help. Even families that would not normally have to partake of the charity are driven to the food banks doors during the summer because they are having to feed their children meals that normally would have been provided at school. BBAV wants to do their part to help those in need in communities across the state and felt this would be a way of providing hope to those in need.”
Leslie Van Horn, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, explained, “Summertime is one of the most challenging times to keep our distribution centers filled with food and this statewide effort will make a huge difference to over 1 million Virginians in need of emergency food assistance.” Last year, members of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks distributed almost 137 million pounds of food and grocery products to individuals in need of emergency food assistance.
Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia members will be raising funds in various ways; from asking guests to round up their bill to the nearest dollar to placing a percentage of sales for a set time period during the month into a small fund to donate at the end of the month. In Orange, Virginia, the Inns at Montpelier group of regional inns will be donating $1 to “Fighting Hunger within Virginia” for each breakfast served. Guests of any of our members in August, be sure to consider donating as the charitable funds will go a long way as the food banks have massive buying power.
Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Virginia Association of Broadcasters Launch ‘Feeding Virginia’
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.
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.”
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)
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
“The Virginia Strawberry Award”: Norfolk Southern Corporation Legal Department (Norfolk)
Per Capita: 682 pounds per person
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.
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.
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.