Funds providing more than 1.5 millions pounds of food to those in need
Governor Timothy M. Kaine today presented a ceremonial check for $1 million to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. Using the funds, the Federation has managed to purchase more than 1.5 million pounds of food from suppliers in Virginia–surpassing its original estimate that $1 million would buy an additional 671,000 pounds of food. As a direct result of the funding, a truck load of food is being delivered to the seven food banks that comprise the Federation every two weeks through the end of September. Governor Kaine recommended the money as an amendment to the 2009 state budget to address the basic needs of Virginians during hard economic times.
“These difficult times require the government to step up and help our most vulnerable citizens, and one proven way to do that is to contribute to the food banks,” Governor Kaine said. “I amended the budget this year to add this money knowing that the national economic crisis would increase the burden on the food banks, and I applaud the state legislature for agreeing to provide these funds.”
The Governor presented the check at the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank as part of this Cabinet Community Day visit to the area. Governor Kaine and members of his Cabinet and senior staff also participated in the Food Bank’s Food for Life program as part of President Obama’s call for a summer of community service through his United We Serve initiative.
“We are seeing anywhere from a 20% to 40% increase in number of food insecure individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia so the $1 million will most definitely impact communities throughout the state,” said Leslie Van Horn, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. “We are honored that Governor Kaine, Secretary of Health and Human Resources Marilyn Tavenner and our state legislators saw the need and stepped forward with critical funding for our seven food banks.”
The seven regional food bank members are: Central Virginia Foodbank in Richmond, Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula in Newport News, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia in Norfolk, Capital Area Food Bank in Lorton and Southwestern Virginia Second Harvest in Salem. The food banks have facilities in Lorton, Fredericksburg, Newport News, Richmond, Norfolk, Tasley, Verona, Lynchburg, Winchester, Charlottesville, Roanoke, Abingdon, Covington and Washington, DC.
In fiscal year 2008, the Food Banks distributed more than 70 million pounds of products to more than 658,200 individuals through more than 2,800 member agencies that directly serve people in need. These agencies operate programs such as soup kitchens, after school programs, senior centers and elderly feeding programs, Kids Cafe Program, Head Start, transitional housing, mental health programs, homeless and domestic violence shelters, and individual household distribution.