The Virginia Natural Gas Foundation Donates $60,000 to Address Food Insecurity in South Hampton Roads
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Dec. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Virginia Natural Gas Foundation has awarded a $60,000 grant to support the Children's Health Investment Program (CHIP) of South Hampton Roads' initiative to improve the health and well-being of children and families in southeastern Virginia. The grant will allow CHIP officials to begin construction of a community kitchen that will seek to address food insecurity, as well as provide educational programs centering on affordable, healthy meals and healthy cooking demonstrations that honor diverse culinary cuisines and traditions.
The facility, known as the Virginia Natural Gas Foundation Community Kitchen, will be located at The Sankofa Family Center.
In Hampton Roads, two of every five school-aged children live in poverty, which is one reason why the VNG Foundation decided to join CHIP's effort to confront this important issue. Food insecurity, caused by a limited access to resources, contributes to chronic health conditions and malnutrition, especially in vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. The VNG Foundation's grant will help provide consistent access to adequate food options and long-term educational support for individuals in South Hampton Roads.
"The Virginia Natural Gas Foundation is honored to collaborate with the Children's Health Investment Program of South Hampton Roads to expand its efforts to combat food insecurity," said VNG President and CEO Robert Duvall, who sits on the board of the VNG Foundation. "Through programs like those planned for the VNG Foundation Community Kitchen that provide long-term solutions to everyday challenges, we hope to improve economic mobility within our community, leaving no one behind."
"We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue our partnership with the Virginia Natural Gas Foundation," said CHIP of South Hampton Roads President and CEO Trish O'Brien. "The Foundation's generous contribution to establish a demonstration kitchen within The Sankofa Family Center will undoubtedly support CHIP's vision that healthy communities begin with healthy children. Just as the kitchen is the 'heart of the home,' I am sure that this kitchen will become the heart of not only The Sankofa Family Center, but also the South Norfolk Community."
Construction of the demonstration kitchen is scheduled to begin in 2024. Once operational, the Virginia Natural Gas Foundation Community Kitchen will be an important part of the South Hampton Roads landscape as it hosts neighborhood food distributions, raises public awareness about food insecurity and the essentials of healthy living and serves as a gathering place for parents and children in need. The Sankofa Family Center will also partner with Chef Teresa Licato, Healthy Chesapeake's program manager, to host in-person and virtual events that will focus on culturally representative cuisine and adapting traditional dishes for a healthy diet.
The Virginia Natural Gas Foundation, a subsidiary of the Southern Company Gas Foundation, supports nonprofit organizations across southeastern Virginia. The Foundation's mission is to advance social justice, encourage economic development, provide energy assistance, care for the environment and support the arts and education in the areas where Virginia Natural Gas employees live, work and serve. To learn more about the Virginia Natural Gas Foundation, visit virginianaturalgas.com.
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The Children's Health Investment Program (CHIP of South Hampton Roads) provides a continuum of services to promote the health and well-being of low-income families in our community. The largest home visiting program in the region, CHIP's service area covers nearly 4,000 square miles of the Commonwealth providing critical, holistic services to families with young children and/or expectant women with the goal of improving child/parental health, school readiness and family self-sufficiency. Additional programs provided by CHIP are designed to address emerging community needs. These programs include Sleeptight, a safe sleep education /crib distribution program to mitigate infant death due to unsafe sleep, Moms Matter, an individualized RN supervision to address maternal mortality in high risk women and The Sankofa Family Center creating a "no wrong door" approach for families to receive assistance and supportive services in our South Norfolk Community.
SOURCE Virginia Natural Gas
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