RICHMOND, VA— On Tuesday, November 23, Virginia’s First Lady Maureen McDonnell kicked off the Thanksgiving holiday by accepting donations to the Central Virginia Food Bank from IBWA Member Diamond Springs and Walmart. The contributions of the day totaled 9,392 pounds of food and water.
Katie Terry, Marketing Director of Diamond Springs stood next to Mrs. McDonnell and presented a contribution of $1,000 along with two pallets of water, part of an initiative to raise charitable donation levels. Diamond Springs has also begun working to increase awareness of the Virginia Food Banks across the state by offering billboard advertising on the back of Diamond Spring delivery trucks which feature the Food Banks’ campaign to “Turn hunger into hope.”
“Diamond Springs is a proud member of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and is celebrating 50 years of doing business in Richmond. Virginia is home to 16 bottled water companies, including distributors and suppliers which total 14,800 jobs,” said Terry. “Our bottled water companies continue to generate jobs and revenue and we are pleased to give back the food banks across our state. Diamond Springs is proud to partner with the Central Virginia Food Bank and give additional water and a monetary contribution this Thanksgiving Holiday.”
Kimberly Albright, Regional General Manager of Walmart, presented Walmart’s donation to the First Lady, stating, “We believe we have a responsibility to our associates and customers to support organizations that make meaningful contributions and help address pertinent issues in their communities. We are proud to be able to give locally throughout the state of Virginia and to help Virginians live better.”
Bottled water’s tax contributions to the Commonwealth totaled $249 million in 2009, with consumer sales taxes on the product adding another $21.3 million to the Commonwealth’s coffers. Both IBWA and Diamond Springs hope to continue to work together to battle hunger in Virginia. Economists have noted that our industry’s total contribution to the Virginia economy at $2.61 billion in 2009.
Consumers across the United States choose bottled water because it is a healthy, refreshing beverage. As a manufactured food product, bottled water is similar to thousands of other beverage and food products that are comprehensively regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food product. Bottled water has its own stringent FDA manufacturing standards governing its safety, purity and labeling. And by law, FDA standards for bottled water must be as protective of public health as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s tap water regulations.