Governor Bob McDonnell is launching a “Governor’s Bowl” food and fund drive among the state’s Chambers of Commerce. 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.
McDonnell said he will personally deliver awards to the winning chamber offices after the conclusion of the first “Governor’s Bowl.” Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) praised the effort.
â€œI want to thank Governor McDonnell for his continued work to help feed the needy in Virginia,â€ Wolf said. â€œThis effort to bring the business community together is incredibly important for the survival of our local food banks during the summer months.
Wolf has organized a similar effort at the federal level that encourages federal employees to participate in a food drive to collect donations for local food banks and pantries.
“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,” McDonnell said. “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.”
McDonnell noted that Virginia’s lawyers responded generously in 2007 when, as Attorney General, he launched the first annual “Legal Food Frenzy.”
“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,” he said.
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.”
President and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Barry DuVal said, “On behalf of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, I am pleased to accept Governor McDonnell’s challenge. I look forward to working with the governor, Virginia’s food banks and our regional chambers to make this competition a success and to reduce hunger in Virginia.”
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.