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Virginia Natural Gas awards $100K to Pharrell's new school to fuel students with healthy meals

Virginia Natural Gas YELLOWHAB donation
Virginia Natural Gas YELLOWHAB donation
Virginia Natural Gas YELLOWHAB donation
Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 18:16:47-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Natural Gas is partnering with musician and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams to help nourish students at YELLOWHAB, Williams' new, one-of-a-kind school in Norfolk.

The energy company is donating $100,000 to the private school. The donation will honor YELLOW’s "Nourish Youth" initiative, in which 40 3rd through 5th attending the YELLOWHAB micro-school are introduced to healthy practices and encouraged to practice wellness both in and out of school.

Through the donation, the school will help provide healthy food options and resources for students and their families, while also introducing them to new food items to which they normally do not have access.

“We support programs that enrich the communities we serve and thrilled to once again partner with Pharrell Williams on such an important project,” said Robert Duvall, Virginia Natural Gas president. “This school provides a highly personalized education for the students attending, and we are pleased to be fueling them with healthy meal options and provide access to food education.”

Backed by Williams’ nonprofit YELLOW, the YELLOWHAB micro-school opened to rising 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students who live in Norfolk and who received free and reduced lunch.

More than 400 students applied to the YELLOWHAB lottery, of which 40 students were ultimately selected to attend for the 2021-22 school year.

With the goal of expanding on the equity-focused nonprofit’s decade of experience running summer programs for students, the school is tuition-free, and the cost of attendance will be covered by philanthropic support.

“We are grateful for the partnership with Virginia Natural Gas and the donation to support our Nourish Youth priority which provides healthy meals and encourages students to make better food choices,” said Stacey Owsley, interim executive director. “This partnership is integral to our ecosystem approach as we continue to develop the most critical building blocks for learning - the social, emotional and physical well-being of our YELLOWHAB community.”

This Virginia Natural Gas and Williams' the second partnership. In 2019, the company partnered with the musician for the inaugural Something in the Water festival and was a major donor to help expand and overhaul the community gardens at Seatack Elementary School in Virginia Beach to create a living and educational garden for students.