Virginia General Assembly
This is the official site of the Virginia General Assembly. It houses a wealth of information, including members of the House of Delegates and Senate, committee assignments, bill tracking service, laws and regulations, calendar, current events, state budget, and a virtual tour of the Virginia State Capitol.
Who’s My Legislator
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Governor of Virginia
This is the official site of the Governor of Virginia, including bios for Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe. Subscribe to email updates, make citizen requests, and/or contact the Governor and his staff.
Announcing the Winners of the VAND “Feed Virginia Day of Action” Recipe Contest
Thank you to everyone who submitted recipes!
Blue Ridge District: Austin Shelly, RDN – Spinach Stuffed Pork Chops with Balsamic Fig Sauce
Greater Richmond District: Kelly Leonard, RD, CSP – Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Apples, Onion, & Parsnips
Northern District: Brittany Goldman, BASC, RD – Vegan Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup
Southwest District: Kristen Chang, RDN, CSSD – Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Tidewater District: Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND – Asian-Inspired Fish
Governor and First Lady Announce 10 Million Meal Increase in Statewide School Breakfast Program
~Program growth driven by adoption of alternative service models, which provide access to breakfast as a part of the school day ~
September 20, 2017
NORFOLK – Governor Terry McAuliffe and First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe today announced that over 10 million more school breakfasts were served to Virginia students during the 2016-2017 school year compared to the 2013-14 school year, during a visit to Suburban Park Elementary School. On average, over 50,000 more students are eating breakfast each day, and for the first time in Virginia, more than 60 percent of free and reduced price eligible students who eat lunch also eat breakfast at school each day.
“School meals are essential for Virginia’s students to succeed, and they’re key to our efforts to build a 21st century workforce,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Thanks to these efforts, more than 50,000 additional Virginia students are getting nutritious meals at the start of their school day. I am proud of First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and this administration’s work to connect local communities with federal nutrition programs and bring taxpayer dollars back to nourish our children and support the educational mission of our schools.”
“Thanks to our strong public-private partnerships and commitment to evidence-based programs to expand the role of schools as nutrition hubs, Virginia has become a model for the nation in ending childhood hunger,” said First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, who has been a leading advocate for school nutrition. “Now more than ever, we are proving the connection between school meals and student success, and today’s announcement means that those benefits are quickly spreading to more and more Virginia communities.”
The McAuliffe administration has significantly increased the resources available to help divisions expand access to school breakfast. $2.7 million was appropriated in the Governor’s budget over three years to help schools transition to alternative models for school breakfast, like ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ and ‘Grab and Go Breakfast’ which are proven to improve participation and academic achievement. More than 700 schools across the Commonwealth have adopted these models since the funding was first implemented. As a result of participation growth, Virginia schools have unlocked an additional $22 million per year in federal reimbursements.
First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe has made it her top priority to end childhood hunger in Virginia by connecting schools with federal nutrition programs that ensure every student has access to healthy food. Her partnership with the No Kid Hungry Virginia campaign has resulted in millions more school meals served to Virginia students at no cost to them.
At Richmond Roundtable, State Leaders, Grocery/Hunger Experts, and Advocates Make Case for Establishment of Virginia Grocery Investment Fund
August 28, 2017
RICHMOND – Leaders from across the Commonwealth, along with national grocery and hunger advocates, gathered today at FeedMore in Richmond to make the case for the establishment of the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund. The panel at “Closer To My Grocer: A Roundtable About the Need for the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund” included Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, State Senator Bill Stanley (R-Moneta), and Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond), among others.
The Virginia Grocery Investment Fund, which will be proposed during the upcoming 2018 session of the General Assembly, aims to proactively address the critical and growing problem of “food deserts” in the Commonwealth. Currently, 1.7 million Virginians, including 480,000 children, live in low income areas with limited supermarket access. In these areas, Virginians cannot access fresh produce, lean meats and other nutritious food products. This has real consequences. Without easy access to affordable and healthy foods, a nutritious diet and good health are out of reach, and as a result, diet related diseases, like diabetes and heart disease – especially among children – are on the rise in the state. And all Virginians are impacted directly or indirectly in the form of decreased workforce productivity and higher healthcare costs.
The Fund will be a means by which to establish public-private partnerships that will help grocery stores locate in these areas, and help Virginians access healthy, nutritious food in their communities.
Speaking about the roundtable, First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe remarked, “The Virginia Grocery Investment Fund is an example of the smart, inclusive policies we can create when we bring together partners from across the food system. Our administration has focused on promoting collaborative, community-driven solutions to food access in Virginia, and this legislation will continue that important work.”
Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore added, “Today’s roundtable highlights the importance of ensuring every citizen has access to quality, nutritious food. Through critical investments, like the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund, we can work with local communities and private sector partners to eliminate food deserts, expand markets for farmers to sell Virginia-grown agricultural products, foster community development and revitalization, and improve the health and quality of lives of our citizens.”
State Senator Bill Stanley, who will carry legislation to create the Fund, noted, “Over the years grocery stores have left communities due to factors unrelated to customer demand. We can foster greater revitalization by helping grocery stores and other innovative food retail projects get up and running in these communities. I believe in supporting small businesses, creating jobs, and improving people’s access to healthy foods. The Virginia Grocery Investment Fund will enhance the free market by serving communities that currently lack access, not demand. A win-win-win for Virginia’s economy.”
Delegate Delores McQuinn stated, “Every day many people in Virginia face challenges of food insecurity and limited access to healthy foods when there are food deserts in their community. The campaign to create the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund continues my efforts of informing and educating the public that this problem is real, but that we have a solution.”
Also participating in today’s roundtable were Doug Pick, Chief Executive Officer, FeedMore; James Wallace, Community Impact Advisor, Virginia Community Capital; Kristen Suokko, Executive Director, Local Food Hub; and Jim Allen, President, Honor Capital, LLC. Honor Capital recently opened a new Save-A-Lot grocery store in an area of Danville that meets the food desert designation. Coverage of that opening can be found HERE.
Also at today’s roundtable, participants saw a short five-minute video about the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund. That video can be viewed HERE.
Virginia Food Access Network launched by First Lady of Virginia, Dorothy McAuliffe
During the final meeting of the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide, First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe announced the Virginia Food Access Network (VFAN), an interactive tool to accelerate efforts, connect partners, and share resources to end childhood hunger in Virginia and strengthen the local food system. To learn more and join the network, go to www.vfan.org.