CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One in seven Charlottesville children experience food insecurity at some point during the school year. That’s a problem that many are hoping to solve.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on hunger, and for students who rely on schools for that healthy meal, more help could be on the way.
“Schools have a real opportunity to ensure that kids are nourished in both body, mind, and spirit,” said Alex London-Gross, the executive director of PB&J.
London-Gross is advocating for an additional $125,000 each year for five years. It’s designed to increase infrastructure and training for the school’s nutrition department.
“This helps to provide additional equipment that they’re able to actually do things like cut fresh tomatoes and prepare things from scratch in ways that the schools haven’t been able to do in the past,” London-Gross said.
The Food Justice Network is urging people to tweet messages to Charlottesville City Council and School Board members ahead of Thursday’s budget meeting. London-Gross says this is an issue everyone can get behind.
“We’ve all experienced that sort of acute hunger pain,” she said, “but imagine feeling that way every single day - not knowing where your next meal will come from. That’s what it’s like to be a child who’s food insecure.”
While the first steps would be to make sure there are more cooking and fresh preparation, London-Gross also says they hope to increase the amount of local produce used in the future.