Across the Commonwealth, 1.7 million people, including 480,000 children, live in underserved areas or low-income communities with limited supermarket access. The Virginians living in these areas, often called “food deserts,” are unable to access fresh produce, lean meats and other nutritious food.
Seeking to end this growing problem, the Closer To My Grocer coalition has been convened and is presenting a bill to the General Assembly in an effort to create the Virginia Grocery Investment Fund (VGIF). The VGIF will create public/private partnerships that leverage state dollars with private money to provide one-time, low-interest loans and forgivable loans to encourage grocers to open or renovate stores in underserved communities in an effort to alleviate food insecurity statewide.
As the 2019 General Assembly session draws near, the Closer To My Grocer coalition wants to hear from local government and community leaders in order to develop deeper knowledge about local needs and interests and to better inform where the proposed Virginia Grocery Investment Fund will have the greatest impact.
Please click here or follow the link at the end of this article to take part in a quick, 5-minute survey.
Your participation is much appreciated and will be of great service to the coalition.
VGIF Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KDW5C3Y
VACo Contacts: Chris McDonald and Angela Inglett