On Thursday, Governor McAuliffe announced his plan to create the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide to tackle hunger in the state, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
McAuliffe called hunger in a state where agriculture is a big business “totally unacceptable”. He signed Executive Order No. 34 at a ceremony held at Richmond’s Little House Green Grocery. His wife, Dorothy McAuliffe will head the new council.
“Virginia has a $52 billion agricultural industry, and we have 300,000 children a day go to school hungry,” said Mrs. McAuliffe. “We need to do a better job of connecting the dots.”
The governor also highlighted the the disparity calling it an embarrassment that the state had so many hungry children.
“We should not tolerate one child going to school hungry,” he stated.
The first lady has worked on a variety of food initiatives since her husband took office in January, which include a federally funded program that offers students in participating school districts free breakfast and lunch.
“Hunger is real, and hunger is here,” she commented, continuing “Too many hard-working Virginia families are choosing between paying their bills and buying groceries.”
Access to”proper nutrition” she said, “isn’t a privilege, it’s a basic human right.”