The number of hungry families and individuals in Northern Virginia is often overlooked because of the affluent reputation of this area. However, more than 200,000 people here are food insecure and in need of help.
• Volunteers: With a small staff of nine at our 15,000 square-foot warehouse, our food distribution programs would not be possible without the work of our volunteers. Donating more than 27,727 hours of their time last year, volunteers supported Food for Others operations through office work, warehouse distribution, and the pick-up and delivery of food from grocery stores, farmers’ markets, neighborhood sites, and elementary schools.
• Donors: Our food comes from many retail donors including grocery and food establishments and farmers’ markets as well as from the Capital Area Food Bank, food drives, and harvesting activities. Our efforts are supported by Fairfax County, by U.S. Community Services Block Grant funds, by a matching-funds grant from Arlington County, and by contributions from churches, businesses, foundations, and individuals. We are privileged to be members of both CFC (#40790) and America’s Charities Community First.
• Emergency Food distributions serve families and individuals referred to us by social-service providers. We supply three to five days’ worth of food that helps bridge the gap until other sources of assistance become available. Clients may also apply for a monthly supplement provided by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, based on income eligibility. In FY 2016 we provided 26,042 emergency food packages from our Merrifield warehouse.
• Neighborhood Site distributions occur weeknights at 16 sites in high-poverty neighborhoods in the counties of Arlington and Fairfax. Our volunteers pick up food at the warehouse and deliver it to these sites. In FY 2016 we served 907 families from our neighborhood distribution sites.
• Community Partner distributions provide bulk food items to 16 community-based organizations throughout the area. Food for Others provides food for these organizations on a weekly or bi-weekly basis all year. Churches, homeless shelters, and community centers distribute this food to the homeless, elderly, school children, homebound, and others in need of food. In FY 2016 Food for Others distributed 186,173 pounds of free food through our Community Partners.
• Power Pack Program distributions are provided to 28 elementary schools in Northern Virginia to be supplied to students who may not have enough to eat over the weekend. Each pack contains two days’ worth of food that helps students return to school ready to learn on Monday mornings. In FY 2016 Food for Others distributed 62,450 packs of food to children through the Power Pack Program.
Results: Together, through all of our services we serve 400-600 families every day Monday through Friday. In FY 2016 Food for Others distributed over 2.2 million pounds of free food with a donation value of $3,340,000.