Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia – The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced that it will take part in the first annual Governor’s Bowl Chamber of Commerce Challenge food and fund drive. The “Governor’s Bowl” campaign will run from Memorial Day (May 28th) to Independence Day (July 4th), helping to keep Virginia’s food banks stocked during the summer months, which are typically slower for food donations.
Pamela Irvine, President and CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia, said, “Summertime is one of the most challenging times to keep our distribution centers filled with food. We see a higher demand for food assistance during the summer months because children are out of school. Parents of children who would normally receive free or reduced price breakfasts and lunches at school are in need of other resources to help feed their children. Over 80,000 children in Southwest Virginia are food insecure.”
In a press conference held in Richmond on April 23, Governor McDonnell said, “The ‘Governor’s Bowl’ is a unique opportunity to bring businesses and public sector employees together for a cause that everyone can agree with – and that is combating hunger in our communities. As Virginians, we are fortunate to live in a Commonwealth full of plenty; however, hunger remains pervasive. Since 2006, Virginia food banks have seen a 54 percent increase in demand. In the last six months, food banks have experienced a drop of 50 percent in food donations. Summer months are particularly tough for food banks to keep their shelves stocked. Today, we are challenging the business community and our great state agencies to join in this new competition that will help our food banks during one of its most challenging times for food banks in Virginia, especially with the number of children who are out of school and do not have access to before and after school meal programs.”
The SML Chamber would like to remind business and individuals of the need in our community during this campaign period and all through the year. We encourage everyone who can donate to do so during this time. There are numerous agencies in the region to accept and distribute your donations. If you are unsure of where to go, please bring your donation to the SML Chamber and Visitor Center located at Bridgewater Plaza on Route 122, Moneta or call us at 540-721-1203. Thank you for your support.