Saturday, February 1 marks the official kick-off of Virginia’s 3rd annual “Commissioners and Cans Food and Fund Drive.”  Commissioners of the Revenue offices from across the state enter a fun, yet competitive campaign to see which office can provide the most food for Virginia’s seven regional food banks. 

The competition is the brainchild of Tiffany Boyle, Commissioner of the Revenue for Newport News, Virginia.  The friendly competition, which lasts two weeks, involves collecting food and funds to help re-stock the shelves of food banks and pantries across the state.  November and December are typically high-volume months for donations, but by the time February rolls around, many important food items are beginning to run low. 

More than 860,000 people, including 247,000 children across the state of Virginia are food insecure, which means they cannot access enough nutritious food throughout the year.  Food insecurity frequently leads families to make hard decisions about which costs to cover – rent, heat, car insurance or food?  Faced with these kinds of decisions, parents often sacrifice food purchases. 

The Federation of Virginia Food Banks and the seven regional food banks work through a network of more than 1,500 partner agencies to build a safety net for these families, and competitions like this one are critical to those efforts.  Last year 24 offices across the state competed and the Federation is excited to see interest growing.  Local businesses and other organizations are invited to partner with their local commissioner’s office.  

The competition runs from February 1-15 and the office that collects the most pounds of food per person will be recognized at the Commissioner’s Annual conference.  The most needed items include:  Monetary donations ($1 can provide 4 meals), canned protein (tuna, chicken, ham), canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter and jelly, soups, and pasta and sauces.  

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