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Northam sends $7 million to food banks

Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced Virginia will allocate $7 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to Virginia food banks to help Virginians who rely on food assistance.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the already serious problem of food insecurity in Virginia and across the country,” Northam said. “This funding will help Virginia food banks and other food assistance programs meet the increased demand for their services and ensure every Virginian has continued access to nutritious food during these challenging times.”

Prior to the pandemic, approximately 850,000 Virginians, including 250,000 children, did not know where their next meal would come from. Feeding America estimates that up to 275,000 more Virginians may experience food insecurity in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This allocation of CARES Act funding will help the Federation of Virginia Food Banks purchase fresh food and dairy products, filling an expected gap caused by the end of the federal Farmers to Families Food Box program and a severe drop in commodities at the end of the year. Food banks can also use the money to purchase shelf-stable commodities and address storage, refrigeration and transportation issues.

Governor Northam, members of his cabinet, and staff will be volunteering at food banks during the month of November.