CHARLOTTESVILLE - The Virginia Association of Broadcasters today announced a year-long campaign to support all seven regional food banks in Virginia by raising funds and increasing donations of food.
The campaign, Feeding Virginia, will begin July 1 and will be supported by more than 150 local radio and television stations across Virginia, in collaboration with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. The announcement was made by Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, who was at Coleman Place Elementary School in Norfolk, VA to kick off the start of the Summer Meals Program, which provides free, healthful meals to low-income children when school is out.
The First Lady has accepted an invitation to serve as the spokesperson for the 12-month VAB campaign. She and Gov. Terry McAuliffe will work with the VAB to promote Feeding Virginia, and together they will appear in a variety Public Service Announcements (PSAs) supporting the program in the coming year.
The Feeding Virginia campaign will begin with all VAB member stations airing PSAs supporting the Summer Meals Program. In the months ahead VAB member radio and television stations will promote and support Feeding Virginia through news coverage, promotion of local food bank events, and the airing of Public Service Announcements designed to generate funds, food, and awareness across the state.
"While they have long been a pillar in our communities and a strong advocate in the fight against hunger - the commitment from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters to launch a year-long, hunger awareness campaign on July 1st is a huge step forward," said Mrs. McAuliffe. "All seven regional food banks in Virginia will benefit, as will all Virginia families, as local broadcasters work to raise awareness of important programs like the summer meals service."
"Our local radio and television stations take great pride in the work we do to build up our local communities," said VAB President Brad Ramsey. "This is the first time our thousands of employees across the state have united in a common cause, and we are incredibly excited to make an impact in every corner of Virginia on this important issue."
The primary mission of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks is to feed hungry Virginians. In 2013 the Federation's network (list below) distributed more than 137 million pounds of food to more than 1 million individuals through more than 1,900 member agencies across the state. The agencies operate soup kitchens, after school programs, domestic violence shelters, individual household distribution and more.
Federation of Virginia Food Banks Executive Director Leslie Van Horn commented on today's announcement: "Since 2006 we've seen a 54% increase in need, and the need continues to grow. We are thrilled that Virginia's local broadcasters have decided to support our efforts, and I know this campaign will make a huge difference in our fight against hunger."