First Day Volunteering at DSFP by Trevor Moody

Having never worked at a food pantry, I didn’t know what to expect. I had envisioned overseeing the distribution of canned goods to lines of people in need of food. After my first-day volunteering at Dulles South Food Pantry, my understanding was completely changed. I had signed up for a Wednesday evening distribution shift and I quickly experienced firsthand the level of detail, planning, and amount of food that goes through the pantry. The pantry does not just distribute bags of food but rather has tables of food consisting of fresh produce, bread, frozen meat, desserts and much more. The distribution is done using an effective appointment system where families can choose a time to pick up their pre-ordered items and choose from a selection of produce and perishable foods on site. My first day I was involved with a little bit of everything, ranging from packing family’s bags into wagons, gathering the produce for each family, and helping the families load the groceries in their car. Being my first shift, I was kindly introduced and greeted by the other volunteers and felt very welcomed and appreciated. Having never volunteered in a pantry before, I immediately gained a perspective on the impact my efforts in the panty had on the families in need within the Dulles community. The food that I loaded into the family’s cars would feed them and their children for the next week. In addition to all of the happy faces entering the pantry I won’t forget when a 3-year-old boy kept his hand on the wagon handle to help me pull the food his family received all the way to their car. I would highly recommend volunteering at the Dulles South Food Pantry!

 

Why K12 is stuffing lunch waste

Food insecurity and new laws spur schools to recycle, conserve and redistribute meals

Every year, nearly 40 percent of food produced in America is thrown into the trash. That trend extends to the 5 billion lunches served in U.S. public schools each year, amounting to an estimated $1.2 billion of annual lunchroom waste, according to USDA data and findings from a two-year study of Boston middle schools.

Read the full article here: https://www.districtadministration.com/article/why-k12-stuffing-lunch-waste

Loudoun food pantries reach out to all areas of county

From Round Hill to Sterling Park; from Loudoun Heights to South Riding; local food pantries reach out to touch needy families in all four corners of Loudoun County.

Donations to all food pantries typically decrease during the summer months. However, hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation and many students who would otherwise eat breakfast and lunch at school may no longer have access to those meals during the summer.

See Leesburg Patch for more information.

Six Tips for a Successful Food Drive

Have you been thinking about hosting a food drive? The Pantry relies greatly on food drives to help replenish our stores. Food drives are held by many of our local organizations and neighbors, including businesses, schools, churches, civic organizations, social clubs, HOAs, and scouting troops like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and American Heritage Girls. These local Pantry supporters truly exemplify our motto of Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, and, with their help, we are able to ensure that much needed food is always available to our neighbors in need.

So what is a food drive? It’s a donation drive in which organizers simply request and collect donations of non-perishable food to give to the Pantry. It can be in the form of a collection bin that sits at a location over a specific period of time or it can be a one-time event in which volunteers actively ask for and collect donations. Read below for six tips that will help you organize a successful food drive. Continue reading

Community Faith Supporters Contribute Significantly to Pantry’s Goals

As described in our Mission Statement, the Pantry is a non-denominational, multi-faith organization, and we support our Dulles South neighbors in need, regardless of faith, income, or other criteriavirginia-stake. The support and partnership of many of our community’s faith-based organizations enable the Pantry’s volunteers to successfully do what we do, whether through direct donations by their congregations or through a variety of volunteer services, such as helping with food distributions, organizing events, packing Friday Food packs, or shuttling guests. As we kick off a new year at the Pantry, it is so important to us to recognize the good works of our Faith Supporters, who contribute significantly to our mission to feed our hungry neighbors. Here are a few highlights of the many things they do:Continue reading

Pantry’s Friday Food Packs Program Helps LCPS Students in Need

friday-food-packThe Dulles South Food Pantry is pleased to announce that we have expanded our Friday Food Packs program this year. Our Friday Food Packs program supports students attending LCPS schools in Dulles South by providing them with small food packs for the weekend. Dedicated volunteers sort and pack bags weekly, which are then delivered to the schools that request them. The food packs are small, easy to carry and generally have individual serving sized food and easy to heat food, such as mac n cheese, fruit cups, and juice. Some of the food that is used in the Friday Food Packs program is obtained through the Food Recovery program at other LCPS schools. However, the pantry still relies greatly on donations from the community to fund for and provide food for this program.Continue reading