Food for Others began feeding the poor on December 11, 1995. It started as a continuation of an earlier emergency food services program designed to prevent individuals in Northern Virginia from going to bed hungry. The program originated in 1984 when Dr. George McManmon discovered urgent, unmet needs in Northern Virginia and formed Lazarus at the Gate to meet those needs.
The program moved to Merrifield from Falls Church in 1993 with Lazarus at the Gate abruptly discontinuing operations June 30, 1995. During the next five months the program was operated by the Department of Community Action, Fairfax County, and previous Lazarus volunteers. The community had a series of meetings to determine the best means for continuing emergency food services. They decided a new nonprofit was the best solution, incorporated Food for Others on October 20, 1995 as a 501(c)(3) organization, and operations officially commenced six weeks later.
Today, the overall program concept continues with four primary programs: direct food assistance at the Merrifield warehouse, food distributions at 17 neighborhood sites on week nights in low-income neighborhoods, food bank operations with our community partners, and distributing weekend backpack food to food insecure students at 30 Fairfax County elementary schools through our Power Pack Program (P3).
Food for Others is a partnership of many persons and organizations dedicated to feeding the hidden, hungry families that exist in Northern Virginia. Perhaps the most important members of that partnership are the thousands of volunteers who contribute their time to Food for Others.
Churches, schools, businesses, and foundations provide volunteers and financial support. Fairfax County is the primary financial contributor with the United Way/Combined Federal Campaign a key source of annual donations. All members of the Board of Directors are volunteers and actively involved in all aspects of operations and management, as they have been since they emerged to create and manage Food for Others more than two decades ago.