Last week Debbie, Rosemary and I were invited by our supporters Renee and John Grisham to join them for a small dinner at Gramercy Tavern in New York which they won during an auction at our previous annual Autumn Harvest Dinner. Guests included Terry and Dorothy McAuliffe, former governor and first lady of Virginia.
Dorothy spoke about the No Kid Hungry campaign from her perspective as a mom of five kids and her work reaching out to other First Spouses on our behalf. She shared some of the incredible progress our team has made in Virginia, especially around school breakfast where we’ve added more than 42,000 kids and moved participation from 53% to 61%.
Terry also spoke and shared that as governor his primary focus was on economic growth and workforce development. He emphasized that the key to his success in attracting businesses to the state was the investments made in children and education that began with making sure every child was fed. That argument takes our elevator speech one floor higher than the buttons we usually push – not just stopping at the moral case for feeding kids or even the educational arguments, but reaching the even larger audience open to the economic rationale for ending childhood hunger. It connects us more squarely to the larger national conversation and many of the likely themes of the coming 2020 campaigns.