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May 28, 2012

The Bristol Chamber of Commerce will compete 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 28) to Independence Day (July 4th), helping to keep Virginia’s food banks stocked during the summer months, which are typically slower for food donations. The competition will be organized regionally, with the “Governor’s Bowl” going to the Chamber or state agency that brings in the most pounds of food for its local food bank. Food and monetary funds collected in Southwest Virginia will be donated to Feeding America Southwest Virginia.

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.”

Three Chamber offices and one state government office will receive a Governor’s bowl based on the total number of pounds of food donated (every dollar donated will equal four pounds). Chamber offices will compete with other like-size offices in categories small, medium and large as determined by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Governor McDonnell will personally deliver awards to the winning chamber and state agency offices after the conclusion of the “Governor’s Bowl.”

In 2007, then-Attorney General McDonnell spearheaded the “Statewide Legal Food Frenzy,” a philanthropic competition among Virginia’s legal community benefiting Food Banks statewide. The “Governor’s Bowl” is modeled off the extremely successful “Legal Food Frenzy,” extending the competition to businesses large and small as well as state agencies.

In a press conference held in Richmond on April 23, Governor McDonnell said, “The ‘Governor’s Bowl’ is a unique opportunity to bring large corporations, small 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.”

Business and individuals wishing to donate

Two Easy Ways to Participate:

1. Sign up today to sponsor a Governor’s Bowl Food Drive at your place of business.
2. Make a monetary donation by visiting the special clickandpledge.com account set up for this event. Note: every dollar donated will equal four pounds of food. https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d2/default.aspx?wid=51819