VACo supports SB 37 (Stanley), which creates the Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund. Once established, the program will leverage public-private partnerships and provide funding for the construction, rehabilitation, equipment upgrades, or expansion of grocery stores, small food retailers, and innovative food retail projects in underserved communities across the Commonwealth.
The Program’s developers estimate that a $7.5 million state investment will be leveraged into $30 million in total funding that will help improve the lives of the 1.7 million Virginians (including an estimated 480,000 children) who live in lower income communities with limited supermarket access.
Senator Bill Stanley was joined by First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, who made childhood nutrition her top priority over the course of the last Administration, as well as an extensive array of fellow state legislators and stakeholders at the bill’s January 11 unveiling. “I have carried many bills,” Senator Stanley said, “but not as important as this one.”
Delegate Delores McQuinn and Delegate Dickie Bell are carrying companion bills, HB 69 (McQuinn) and HB 85 (Bell, D.), on the House side. In a sign of broad, bipartisan support, Senator Rosalyn Dance, Senator Mamie Locke, Senator Monty Mason, Senator Jennifer McClellan, and Senator Glen Sturtevant and Delegate Kaye Kory have all signed on as co-patrons of this important effort.
VACo is eager to continue to support this legislation and its important mission as the 2018 session continues. Most recently, SB 37 was assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.