Pantry Distributed 150,000 Pounds of Food and Helped 270+ Families since Opening
February 24, 2016 ― Dulles, Va. ― Just two years ago, the Dulles South Food Pantry (DSFP) was a only concept, but in its inaugural community meeting on February 24, 2014, local residents, churches and non-profit organizations rallied around the idea, pledging volunteer and financial support. Since that time, Pantry volume has exploded: the Pantry distributed more than 157,000 pounds of food donated from the community and aided more than 1,168 unique guests since its doors opened in June 2014.
“We were nervous before our February 2014 meeting,” said Charlene Jones, president of the DSFP. “We invited the general public and as many organizations as we could find in the Dulles South community, not certain how many, if any, would show up. More than 30 people and 10 groups did, ready to dig in and help. The Pantry displays the very best of humanity. The gifts of time, talent, food and money, freely offered by volunteers and supporters, are beautiful to witness.”
With no paid staff, a core team of a handful of nearly full-time volunteers coordinates and leads a legion of more than 400 others who help to take in food, stock shelves, pick up fresh food for guests, drive guests who need rides to the Pantry, support distribution nights, and much more.
“When we had the idea for the Pantry, some people told us that there wasn’t a need in Dulles South,” said Jones. “We felt that if we just helped one family, the effort was worth it. Today, we’ve helped more than 270 families, and our Friday Food Pack program provides weekly bags for more than 100 students at eight schools so they won’t be hungry over the weekend. And those numbers continue to climb. The DSFP has expanded to fill the need, adding to our volunteer base and bringing in more donations thanks to the support of the amazing Dulles South community.”
The goal of the Pantry is to alleviate hunger in the Dulles South area of Loudoun County by soliciting, collecting and distributing food. With an emphasis on the importance of self-sufficiency, the DSFP focuses on providing transitional support, including referrals to job placement services and English-as-a- Second-Language (ESOL) classes, to families who need a little more help to get back on their feet.
Located at Arcola United Methodist Church on Evergreen Mills Road, the Pantry is open for food distribution the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. It also opens to receive non-perishable food donations Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and Monday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Additional drop-off locations and options can be found on the Donate page.