Dorothy McAuliffe has used her platform as First Lady to advocate for hunger-related issues over the past four years. In one of her final official events, she joined legislators and community leaders at a Thursday press conference to unveil the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund (SB37/HB85)

The Chamber stands in support of the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund. This bipartisan approach to food deserts aligns directly with our economic development and healthcare advocacy.

Limited access to food, especially healthy and nutritious food, is a reality that plagues many of our neighbors in the Roanoke region. The Virginia Grocery Investment Fund will serve as a resource to low-income individuals in food deserts by incentivizing grocery and foot retail projects.

This program will serve as a benefit for individuals, communities and businesses. With increased access to healthy options, individuals will be able to better prevent diet-related diseases, leading to higher workplace productivity and lower healthcare costs.

Governor McAuliffe recommended $7.5 million in his budget to fund the program. With this level of investment, an estimated $22.5 million will be leveraged in private development.

For additional details on the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund and its projected community and economic impacts, click here.