It is important at the Pantry for us to help our guests take advantage of fresh produce in the summer months, and we are working to build key relationships with local farms to provide critically needed fresh food to our guests. Local farms and residents, including Willowsford Farm and families who garden at the Ticonderoga Farms community garden, have been making valuable contributions to the Pantry by sharing their excess harvest, which helps us to provide fresh, healthy food to nourish our hungry neighbors who desperately need it.
As the school year comes to a close, we’d like to recognize the amazing impact area schools have have had in helping the Pantry to feed local families and kids. Area schools donate to the Pantry through food drives and food recovery programs as well as partner with us on our Friday Food Packs program.
This month, we’d like to tell you about a couple of important upcoming events that directly help our local community. Mark your calendars, and please consider donating. Also, you could help us win $1000!
Give Choose is a 24-hour online fundraising event by the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Fauquier Counties for local nonprofits. Last year, you helped us raise $500 by tweeting! This year, we hope to win the $1000 prize for the most donations scheduled between April 18 – May 1, 2017.
For more information about organizing a food drive for the Pantry, please contact Cathy Garber, our Food Drive Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crossroads Jobs helps area residents to find jobs to earn living wages in Loudoun County. The only free job placement service of its type in the County, Crossroads offers a comprehensive process—from orientation to placement—with resume and interviewing workshops, job search services, and interview coordination with candidate and employer follow-ups. Check out this flyer for upcoming orientation dates. Some of the sessions are held in the chapel at Arcola UMC where the Pantry is located. You can get more information about Crossroads here.
Computer CORE visits the Pantry to share information with our guests about their classes on basic computer skills. Adults over 18 can learn Microsoft Office 2010 as well as skills to find job openings online and write resumes and cover letters. Classes meet twice per week for three hours each from February to June (~20 weeks) at Herndon UMC, at Connections for Hope in Herndon, at INMED in Sterling, and in five other locations in Fairfax County. Check out this flyer for information about upcoming sessions. Visit Computer CORE online at: www.computercore.org.
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 criteria. 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. For more details about the many things they do to make such an important impact and to help the Pantry meet our goals, read more here.
A guest recently sent a note to the Pantry. “Thank you for everything that you do! Our family really appreciates your efforts and hard work serving the community. You guys have been a blessing to our family and I hope someday we can give back as well. From the outside, we may not seem like a family struggling financially. I try hard to put some normalcy in our lives and eliminating the stress of putting food on the table gives us a break in dealing with the other stuff. My husband has lost his job and hasn’t found something that pays regularly and with benefits…I just wanted to say how thankful I am for being there and not letting me worry about providing basic food, especially for my kids.”
Thanks to your generous donations of time, money, and food, the Pantry is growing in its ability to help families like this one.
Food insecurity has become a top concern in our area, even as Loudoun County has ranked among the nation’s wealthiest each year. Related to the research and data shared at the event, Jones said, “I was startled to hear that 4 out of 10 food insecure families in Loudoun don’t qualify for SNAP (food stamps) or free school lunch because their household income is too great. The cost of living is so high in Loudoun that ineligible families still can’t afford food.”