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Augusta Chamber takes top honors in statewide food drive

augusta-chamber-headerGov. Bob McDonnell today announced the winners of the second annual Governor’s Bowl Food and Fund Drive, including the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, which took top honors overall with more than 115,000 pounds of food collected locally.

The governor called each winning Chamber of Commerce and winning state agency this morning to express his gratitude personally. More than 100 chambers across the Commonwealth and over 60 state government agencies participated in the five-week competition that began on Memorial Day and ended on Independence Day.

“The secret to our success in the challenge was that our members and their companies have giving hearts!” said Linda Hersey, the president and CEO of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce.

A linchpin to the local effort was a $10,000 challenge grant from McKee Foods in Stuarts Draft.

“The McKee Foods financial contribution helped to spur on the manufacturing sector. Couple that with the involvement of 168 members, and you have a winning combination that truly cares about the well-being of the families in our community  Special thanks to the staff, the Ambassador Corps, and Chamber Board members for their inspiration and dedication to this special cause,” Hersey said.

The 2013 state competition raised the equivalent of over 400,000 pounds of food to benefit over 1 million individuals served by Virginia food banks. The summer season includes critical months when pressure on food bank resources is high and shelves need replenishing.

“We could not do it without our partners at each Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Food Banks, and our teams of state employees,” McDonnell said.

Leslie Van Horn, executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks said, “Our heartfelt thanks to the  Chambers and state government agencies that supported their local food banks during this summertime competition  for truly making a difference in the lives of so many in need.”

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