Fighting Hunger
4:00 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Keeping VA's Food Banks Stocked for Summer

Hunger pangs may be a sign to raid the refrigerator, order carryout, heat up some leftovers, or head to your favorite restaurant. 

But thousands of Virginia children don't have that option.  In fact—and it’s a little-known fact—area food banks throughout the Commonwealth are in greater need of supplies over the summer than over the holidays, when most food drives take place.

Tommie McNeil reports from Richmond.

Since 2006, there's been a 56-percent increase in the need for serving the hungry. And as Governor McDonnell explains, it's harder to restock food banks during this time of year than any other.

"Because a lot more children are home for the Summer, they don't have the school backpack program, they don't get free and reduced lunches at school and so the needs of the food banks go up quite a bit during the Summer."

It's why McDonnell has launched the second annual "Governor's Bowl" food drive. It's a contest that challenges private and public sector organizations to collect food and funds from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July.  Last year's event helped collect more than 740,000 pounds, which served more than one million Virginians. The Governor says that with a greater number of people in need this year, the goal is to surpass last year's total.  And as a token of appreciation, the winning Chambers of Commerce and state agencies will be awarded with one-of-a-kind handcrafted ceramic bowls.