By Josh Mandell, Charlottesville Tomorrow
Former Virginia first lady Dorothy McAuliffe was honored Thursday for her work to end childhood hunger at the launch of the First Lady’s Food Lab, a new program and facility at the University of Virginia’s Morven Farm.
“The unique thing that we are trying to create here at UVa is to look at food systems, not just growing food, but actually working on access,” McAuliffe said. “We have plenty of food, but there is a gap in the food system that denies access to the kids that need it most.”
Housed in a former barn, the Food Lab is a meeting space and kitchen that will support food justice initiatives at UVa and in the Charlottesville area.
University program partners include the School of Nursing, the Curry School of Education and Human Development, the Center for Global Health, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Center for Cultural Landscapes.
Community partners include the City Schoolyard Garden initiative, the Charlottesville Food Justice Network, the International Rescue Committee and the Local Food Hub.
“It is important for us to build on individual connections we have made as UVa faculty to create institutional connections,” said Paul Freedman, an associate professor in UVa’s Department of Politics and a founding member of the UVa Food Collaborative.