Northern Virginia is such a wealthy area. Do hunger and poverty really exist?
Yes. Even though Northern Virginia is considered one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country, we still face a poverty rate of about 5%. This means, based on U.S. Census figures, that more than 90,000 people are living in poverty and 30 percent are children.
What is Food for Others?
Food for Others is a part of Northern Virginia ’s safety net for food when an emergency strikes, and for the growing number of working poor who are unable to make ends meet and need to supplement their inadequate food supplies. Food for Others is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) food bank and food rescue operation, working to help those in Northern Virginia who are food insecure.
What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity means that individuals or families are so limited in their resources to buy food that they are running out of food, reducing the quality of their food, cutting out meat, feeding their children unbalanced meals, or skipping meals so that their children can eat.
How does Food for Others help?
Our clients range from new immigrants, to the working poor, to professionals who have lost their jobs. We provide free emergency food assistance to a growing number of families each year in three ways: through direct assistance in our warehouse, food distribution at 16 sites in the county and by supplying 16 other organizations with bulk food for soup kitchens, shelters, church programs, etc.
How does Food for Others obtain food?
Food for Others obtains much of its food through food rescue operations and food drives. Staff and volunteers pick up good food that would otherwise be thrown away, due to overstocking or close to sell date on the product, from local grocery stores and other retail food establishments. The food is brought to the warehouse for temporary storage including refrigeration as appropriate. Food drives provide the majority of our non-perishable food.
How is Food for Others funded?
In great part by people like you! Food for Others is a nonprofit that relies on contributions. Individuals, churches, corporations, foundations, Fairfax and Arlington Counties all contribute to the work of Food for Others. With almost 96 cents on the donated dollar going to help feed the hungry, it is a great investment in our community.
This sounds like a lot of work. How does Food for Others get it all done?
We get it all done with an enormous amount of help from dedicated volunteers, concerned citizens and a small, but efficient staff. Volunteers are the heart and soul of Food for Others. We simply could not operate without the help of our 600+ volunteers. Last year hundreds of volunteers donated nearly 27,000 hours of their time at Food for Others.
Visit the websites below for information about poverty rates in Fairfax County, as well as nationally:
Poverty in Fairfax County 2012
Fairfax County’s ‘The State of the Poor’ 2014
Economic Need in Fairfax County
Facts and Faces of Hunger in America