For more than 75 years, The Planning Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, community-based planning corporation, has worked to identify community needs, connect people with solutions, and improve the lives of children and families. We work with federal, state and local governments, the United Way of South Hampton Roads, and numerous public and private sector organizations to meet human services needs and achieve significant and lasting social change.
A donation of support will allow The Planning Council to continue doing important work and respond to changes in the needs of our community.
Our work for children puts nutrition, health, and safety at the forefront of the programs and services we provide.
- If our children are homeless and at-risk today, it costs us all more tomorrow.
- If our children don’t get nutritious food, they can’t grow and learn.
- If they aren’t learning in safe environments, they can’t thrive.
- If they can’t thrive, they can’t help build the future.
Here are several ways you can help us help more children and families.
The Military families in our community deserve our thanks and support. And—for those families with children with special needs, The Planning Council is there with extra support through the Exceptional Family Member Respite Care Program.
Respite Care gives Military parents and families a break… to go to doctor appointments, meet with teachers, do grocery shopping, or have an evening out while knowing their child is well cared for—worry-free. The Planning Council recruits, screens, trains, monitors, and refers high-quality Respite Care Providers to Military families participating in EFM Respite Care.
When I leave him with the Respite Care provider, I don’t worry. And— having that peace of mind is the most important thing, especially with a child that’s non-verbal, and he can’t tell me anything.
– EFM Respite Care Participant
Today we provide 16,000 hours of care per month to military families, but civilian families need support as well.
The earlier children learn to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, the healthier they’ll eat as adults. But right now, kids in our region just aren’t getting enough healthy foods. The Planning Council is changing that. And – you can help.
Farm2Childcare (F2CC), a first of its kind program in Virginia, is designed to get children in the habit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables, decrease childhood obesity and hunger, and grow the local economy. Farm2Childcare includes key activity areas around Education, Gardening and Procurement and was launched in 2014.
We work with community partners to make Farm2Childcare possible, including area childcare providers, local farmers, churches, local businesses, gardeners and garden centers, healthcare organizations, and others.
- In Hampton Roads, more than 45% of students are eligible for free and reduced price lunch program.
- Young children get as much as 80% of their daily nutrients in childcare.
The Planning Council works with more than 2,200 childcare providers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia to provide healthy meals and snacks for children in their care.
Connecting childcare providers with USDA reimbursements insures each child receives well-balanced meals and nutritious food.
We also provide professional development, online resources, and technical assistance to help childcare providers teach children about healthy choices, exercise, and how to grow their own fruits and vegetables for a lifetime of healthy eating.
If the program did not exist, I probably would not even know the healthier choices.
– Family Childcare Provider
Today, we provide 14,000 children with 11 million meals, but more needs to be done.
Claudia Gooch served as vice president of Community Planning and Development for The Planning Council for 24 years, before retiring in 2016. Her groundbreaking work in helping homeless citizens have good homes has been recognized by the Virginia Housing Alliance and by the City of Norfolk. Through Claudia’s leadership, hundreds of vulnerable families remained stably housed. She led a regional initiative that resulted in the creation of 320 supportive efficiency apartments. and implemented the Housing Broker Program which has resulted in over 1,400 households with significant housing barriers being placed into new housing units.
In recognition of Claudia’s devotion and commitment to solving homelessness and improving communities, The Planning Council has established the Claudia Gooch Fund. Please consider supporting this fund to continue Claudia’s work.