Food pantry to open for VCU students in need

RICHMOND, Va. – Remembering his days as a college student, Terrence Walker admits he had to cut some corners in order to get his education. The university official, who was a first generation college student himself, said he was inspired to help students facing food shortages and hunger after “reflecting back on my own experiences and the challenges I had to manage my finances and to pay for my education.”

As an administrative assistant for University Counseling Services on the MCV campus at VCU, Walker realized that student hunger is still a prevalent issue today after hearing stories of students coming to class hungry and looking for help, either through the counseling services or the VCU Wellness Resource Center.

“Students go hungry in many cases because of limited resources, and one of the first things that’s easy to cut from a budget is food,” Walker said. He decided to approach the faith community at VCU about starting a food pantry exclusively for college students.

Currently, the Catholic Campus Ministry, the Baptist Campus Ministry, the Muslim Student Association and the Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are working to start the pantry. According to Walker, it will be housed in the building of the Baptist Campus Ministry and will open some time in the coming spring semester.

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Opposition Grows to Transportation Compromise

RICHMOND, Va. — Critics of the transportation funding compromise reached by legislative negotiators say the plan would place a huge burden on Virginia taxpayers.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was among the growing number of conservatives who spoke out against the compromise, which is being considered this afternoon by the House and Senate

“If reports are correct, this new bill contemplates a massive tax increase,” Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, said in a statement.

“In these tough economic times, I do not believe Virginia’s middle-class families can afford massive tax increases, and I cannot support legislation that would ask the taxpayers to shoulder an even heavier burden than they are already carrying, especially when the government proposes to do so little belt tightening in other areas of the budget.”

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Giving Babies the Very Best: Why Many Richmond Mothers Choose to Breastfeed

When Chelsea Pinacate, a Richmond mother of one, was preparing for the birth of her baby, she and her husband set some time apart to take a class on breastfeeding.

“We learned a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding in that class and decided it was something we definitely wanted to do,” she said.

The city of Richmond offers many resources and classes like this for new mothers who are breastfeeding or considering breastfeeding.

A Woman’s Place Lactation Center and Boutique, located at Bon Secour Hospital, hosts classes similar to the one the Pinacates took. The center is completely dedicated to supporting new mothers who breastfeed. They offer breastfeeding classes and support groups, address latch difficulties, and even host a breastfeeding answer line.

According to the center’s website, “Breastfeeding isn’t just a lifestyle choice, it’s a health practice that’s been shown to protect babies against ear infection, lower the mother’s risk of breast cancer, and help mom’s lose pregnancy weight.”

These healthy benefits play a large role in explaining why many mothers choose to breastfeed.

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