Governor includes grant for food banks in budget

Good news for Virginia food banks – Gov. Tim Kaine included in his recommendations for amendments to the 2009-2010 state budget the addition of $1 million in grant money that would help food banks in the Commonwealth purchase food.

“We have eliminated nearly all of the non-state-agency spending from the budget, but this particular expenditure is very important,” Kaine said in his address to legislators on the money committees in the Virginia General Assembly last week. “There are few needs as critical as food for the hungry. As the economy has worsened, food banks across the Commonwealth have seen donations decline and their shelves depleted, even as more Virginians have found themselves in need of this vital assistance. I hope you will support this needed safety net service,” Kaine said.

The Federation of Virginia Food Banks had gone public with its request for the emergency assistance from the state earlier this month. Food banks across the state have experienced an uptick in requests for help in the area of 20 to 30 percent statewide due to the deepening economic recession.

“Virginia’s food banks are truly the safety net for society, catching many people who would otherwise go without their daily food,” said Leslie Van Horn, the executive director of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. “This grant would make it possible for us to provide over 671,000 pounds of food to our neighbors in need across the Commonwealth. We’re elated over the Governor’s decision and we pledge our utmost support to work with House and Senate leadership to see this come to fruition,” Van Horn said.


– Story by Chris Graham

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