In an address to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s “Chamber Day at the Capitol,” Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the “Governor’s Bowl” food and fund drive. The “Governor’s Bowl” campaign will run from Memorial Day to Independence Day, helping to keep Virginia’s food banks stocked during the summer months, which are typically slower for food donations. Governor McDonnell will personally deliver awards to the winning chamber offices after the conclusion of the first “Governor’s Bowl.”
Speaking about the “Governor’s Bowl,” Governor McDonnell said, “Since 2006, food banks have seen a 54 percent increase in demand while in the last 6 months, several food banks have experienced a 50 percent drop in food donations. I am today partnering with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks to challenge Virginia’s business community to help meet this pressing need with the ‘Governor’s Bowl’ food and fund drive. Virginia’s lawyers responded generously in 2007 when, as Attorney General, I launched the first annual ‘Legal Food Frenzy,’ and I thank Justice Bill Mims and now Attorney General Cuccinelli for continuing that successful competition, which has raised more than 7.2 million pounds of food in its first 5 years. Today I challenge those of you in the business community to join me in this new competition to help feed Virginians in need and keep our food banks stocked during a time of year in which additional donations traditionally drop off. I am confident that Virginia’s business community will rise to this challenge and help Virginia’s food banks fulfill their mission, as outlined by the CVFB: ‘that none shall go hungry.’”
Leslie Van Horn, Executive Director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, said, “The Federation of Virginia Food Banks is thrilled that the Governor’s office and the Chamber of Commerce offices in the Commonwealth of Virginia are partnering with us to benefit their local food banks this year. 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.”
The competition will be organized regionally, with the “Governor’s Bowl” going to the Chamber that brings in the most pounds of food for its local food bank. The idea comes from the successful model of the “Legal Food Frenzy,” launched by then-Attorney General McDonnell in 2007. The success of the “Legal Food Frenzy” has been replicated by partnerships between food banks, Attorneys General and the law community in other states such as Massachusetts and Georgia.
More details about “The Governor’s Bowl” food and fund drive will be announced in the weeks ahead.