The Prince William Community Foundation recently received $34,080 from No Kid Hungry Virginia to strengthen child nutrition programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and in its aftermath.
The new funding will help PWCCF purchase a new vehicle to expand meal distribution and outreach in Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County.
Hunger in Virginia and across the country is growing because of the pandemic’s impact on the economy. Experts estimate one in four children nationwide could face food insecurity this year, up from one in seven before the pandemic occurred. A new analysis from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that Black and Latino households are more than twice as likely as white households to report that their household didn’t get enough to eat.
Programs managed by school divisions and community organizations have been a critical tool to address hunger in Virginia’s communities. Teams are offering a variety of food distribution models to help safely connect kids with meals, including “Grab and Go” service at schools and food delivery along bus routes.
To help protect staff and kids during the pandemic, nutrition departments have purchased new equipment to transport meals and personal protective supplies that have put strains on operating budgets.
“We continue to be thankful for the compassionate and dedicated school nutrition teams across the state who are stepping up to feed students during this crisis,” said Sarah Steely, associate director of No Kid Hungry Virginia, a campaign of Share Our Strength. “We expect the need for meals to continue and we’re here to help divisions navigate the challenges of feeding the community during the pandemic.”
Since schools first closed in March, No Kid Hungry has provided more than $1.5 million in grants to help Virginia school divisions and community organizations adapt and expand their programs to meet increased need across the state.
Most divisions will continue to offer free meals to youth 18 and under for the entire school year. Families are encouraged to check with their local school division for details.
The funding also supports the child nutrition goals in the Virginia Roadmap to End Hunger, a unified set of strategies to prioritize food security during the pandemic and beyond. The Roadmap was produced by Governor Northam’s Children’s Cabinet. No Kid Hungry Virginia is a longstanding member of the Children’s Cabinet.
Visit state.nokidhungry.org/virginia for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work.