First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe accepts Milliken Award (courtesy photo)

Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe accepted the 2017 Milliken Award from Communities in Schools of Northern Virginia on April 25, for her commitment to eliminating childhood hunger in Virginia.

“I want to thank Communities in Schools of Northern Virginia for recognizing our efforts to increase access to school meals for children across the Commonwealth,” said First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe. “We know that classroom participation and hunger are directly linked, and that kids can’t be hungry to learn if they are just plain hungry. While our campaign to address childhood hunger is a statewide effort, as a resident of Northern Virginia, it is especially gratifying to know that there are organizations like Communities in Schools that are forming relationships and building bridges to better futures for our next generation. CIS is a testament to what’s possible when a community comes together to support its students on every level.”

Dorothy McAuliffe has dedicated her time and efforts to eliminating childhood hunger in the Commonwealth, while also working to provide more access to fresh, locally grown produce for all Virginians. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide, which focuses on combating childhood hunger in Virginia, improving access to locally grown agricultural products, and working with communities to link nutrition, health, and education.

First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visits Ramsay Elementary School in Alexandria (file photo)

She is also involved with the No Kid Hungry Virginia campaign, the product of a public-private partnership that includes the First Lady, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Education, and several corporate partners. Together, they work to end childhood hunger in the Commonwealth. The campaign connects eligible kids to federal nutrition programs. The campaign is increasing awareness and participation in the School Breakfast Program, the Community Eligibility Provision, the Summer Meals Program, and the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program.

The Milliken Award is named for Bill Milliken, the founder of Communities in Schools, and his wife Jean, long-time Arlington residents, who have devoted their lives to helping others.  The award recognizes those individuals who strive to make their communities a better place by focusing on those who are most vulnerable.

Communities in Schools of Northern Virginia (CIS of NOVA) is a part of CIS, the largest organization dedicated solely to keeping children in school and giving them the tools they need to succeed in life. CIS helps 1.5 million kids and their families annually, in 25 states and Washington, DC.  The organization’s mission is to provide students with a supportive community, helping them to stay in school and go on to lead successful lives. 

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