Home / Giving Back to the Community this Thanksgiving
November 21, 2023
Help Fight Hunger and Homelessness in Fairfax County
Food insecurity impacts more than 60,000 people in Fairfax County, according to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. And according to the 2023 Point in Time Count, 1,310 people were unhoused in the county. Hunger and homelessness are not new problems in the nation or our community, but these issues are top of mind as the holidays and cold weather approach, according to an article by Fairfax County Government.
The Fairfax Food Council, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County Government and a network of over 100 nonprofit and faith communities help raise awareness and provide food and support to residents who are impacted.
Here is how you or your organization can help our neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity:
Stuff the Bus is a partnership between Fairfax County Government and local nonprofit organizations to support food assistance efforts for families and households. Now in its 12th year, the program uses Fairfax County’s FASTRAN buses to collect donations for local food banks every winter. In 2023, Stuff the Bus launched a virtual food drive that allows individuals and community organizations to give monetary donations directly to local non-profit organizations that provide food assistance in Fairfax County:
Volunteering: Job training, shelter support, fundraising and other assistance is needed across the county. Volunteer opportunities can be found on the Volunteer Fairfax website.
Click here to find out more, including resources for people who are unhoused or facing food insecurity.
Team FCEDA Gives Back in Partnership with Food for Others
(Photo credit: Fairfax County Economic Development Authority)
Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) team volunteered at Food for Others, assembling 786 bags containing an essential mix of food for students to help alleviate hungry stomachs across the county.
Interested in volunteering? More than 40 percent of work done at Food for Others in FY22 was performed by volunteers. Volunteer opportunities are available for groups, including companies and organizations; individuals; youth and families; students; and court related. Click here for more.
Launched in 1995, Food for Others is one of the largest distributors of free groceries in Northern Virginia, providing the assistance vitally needed by our unemployed and low-income neighbors. The organization provides a much-needed safety net for those who suddenly face unforeseen emergencies. Food for Others feeds over 3,000 families and 3,900 school children each week.
Food for Others obtains much of its food through food rescue operations and food drives. Staff and volunteers pick up good food that would have been discarded by 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.
Local merchants, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), food drives, and crop harvests provide the food; volunteers and staff provide the hands; and charitable contributions and fundraising events provide the funds. Charitable contributions are a major part of Food for Others’ budget. Click here to find out how to make charitable contributions and/or donate food to Food for Others.
Food for Others will host the 2024 Food for Others Golf Tournament to support families experiencing food insecurity in Northern Virginia at International Country Club in Fairfax, on Monday, May 20. One hundred percent of net proceeds will help Food for Others feed families facing food insecurity. Registration is open now.
USDA– USDA Program is twice a month. Families qualify based on income.
Emergency Referral – To receive food through our emergency referral program, recipients need a referral from a social worker or community health worker. This program is different from USDA as it provides some additional food.
Neighborhood Sites – Neighborhood sites provide supplementary food. If someone is in need of food, one of the ways that they can receive food is through Food for Others’ neighborhood sites. Those in need of food may come to one of the following neighborhood sites at the times specified on the website. The only question that is asked is, “How many people are in your household?”
Looking for more ways to support the community? Shop small on Saturday, November 25. This year, we know that small businesses need our support now more than ever as they continue to navigate, retool and pivot from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Please join the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and organizations across the country in supporting your local small businesses by shopping at a small business.
Founded by American Express in 2010 and officially cosponsored by SBA since 2011, Small Business Saturday has become an important part of small businesses’ busiest shopping season. Historically, reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $17.9 billion according to the 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey.
Click here to find participating small businesses in our area.
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