October 2016 Newsletter – Starbucks Employees Take Action to Reduce Waste and Feed the Hungry

The employees at the Starbucks in the Eastgate Shopping Center in South Riding Virginia aren’t just serving up Grande Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiatos, they are serving up a helping hand to the local community. Every Wednesday morning, volunteers from the Dulles South Food Pantry stop by there to pick up fresh bakery items to distribute to Pantry guests later that day.

Since the program began four months ago, Starbucks has donated over eighty pounds of food to the Pantry. The items being donated range from bagels to banana bread to croissants. “These are a real treat for our guests. People struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table appreciate having fresh baked goods in addition to the canned food normally distributed by the Pantry”, explains Charlene Jones, Pantry President. The program began when employees, led by Jessie Johnson, saw good food going in the trash. With the support of store manager, Maria James and district manager, Evie Szafirska, Johnson contacted the Dulles South Food Pantry to see if the food could be used.

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September 2016 Newsletter – It Takes The Whole Community to Make This Work

Mike Donaldson, host of At Loudoun Podcast Magazine, interviewed Pantry President Charlene Jones in September 2016.  To listen to the podcast, go to At Loudoun’s website http://atloudoun.com/podcast/charlene-jones-dulles-south-food-pantry-episode-30/ .  Listen on your way to work or when you have some extra time.  It is a great summary of how the Pantry started, who the Pantry helps, why the Pantry is important to the community and how you can get involved.  There are so many different people, businesses, and organizations that are helping to run the Pantry.  “It takes the whole community to make this work”, President Jones explains. This is a great reminder to all of us why we need to help in our community.  To paraphrase what host Donaldson says, “If you aren’t motivated to help after listening to this podcast, then you probably should stop listening.”  This is a must listen to for all of our current volunteers or prospective volunteers, as a reminder of the Pantry’s mission and the importance of serving the community.  To hear more Loudoun news, visit At Loudoun’s webiste at www.atloudoun.com.

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August 2016 Newsletter – Loudoun Hunger Summit

Join local charities and leaders who are addressing the needs of the hungry in our county at the 2016 Loudoun Hunger Summit – Together At The Table.  Gain an in-depth understanding of hunger issues in Loudoun County, track emerging US Policies affecting food insecurity and learn more about regional approaches to food insecurity.  The event is co-hosted by the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties and Loudoun Interfaith Relief.  The event will be held on Friday, October 14th from 9:30am to 2:30pm at a Loudoun location to be announced.  Registration materials and information will be available on the Community Foundation’s website at www.communityfoundationlf.org.  If you would like to attend, please contact info@dsfp.org.

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July 2016 Newsletter – BMW Drive for A Cause Is Tomorrow!

BMW Drive for a CauseTake the wheel on Tuesday July 26th between 11am-6pm at BMW of Sterling. You’re invited to make a meaningful impact by test driving a new car.  Whether you choose to test drive the BMW 3 Series, 7 Series, X1, or X5 – you’ll be helping those who need it most. Because when you participate, not only will you be supporting Dulles South Food Pantry, you’ll also be supporting BMW’s goal to raise up to $1.5 million for deserving charities. Check out BMW of Sterling and select the test drive sign-up link.

Make sure to sign up for your test drive on Tuesday July 26th!  Representatives from the pantry will be there that day to answer your questions and thank you personally.

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June 2016 Newsletter – Serving More in Need by Expanding Boundaries

Thanks to generous support from the community, the Pantry is growing to better serve more families in the Dulles South region. From launching a broader service zone to increasing programs and hours, the Pantry evolves to meet the needs of the Dulles South Community.

  • Serving a Broader Community – Effective June 1, 2016, the Dulles South Food Pantry has expanded its geographic boundaries to serve families in the Brambleton community, in addition to those who reside in the school attendance zones for the Freedom and John Champe High Schools. Specifically, the Pantry is now offering services to the zones that have been assigned to the new Brambleton Middle School opening in the 2017-2018 school year.

To learn more about how the pantry is expanding its boundaries, hours and summer programs, please see the blog on our website.

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May 2016 Newsletter – Dulles South Food Pantry Serves as Giving Inspiration: A Guest Story

Since the Dulles South Food Pantry opened in June 2014, it has helped more than 1,200 guests, providing them with more than 150,000 pounds of food.

Nothing shows success more than when Pantry guests open up about the impact the organization has made on their lives―even in unanticipated ways.

For example, a guest recently shared, “Just wanted to say thank you from my family and all of my heart for the help you give us! You have inspired me to help others in need in other ways. More for the homeless and people in severe trouble.”

This guest went on to reveal, “You keep my inspiration going. Feeding my family and holding our heads up is enough for me…. There is someone in need every second of the day.”

Serving as a testament to the Pantry’s tagline, “Neighbors helping neighbors,” this story conveys the sentiment at the core of everything the Pantry does: to serve those in need.

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April 2016 Newsletter – South Riding Women in Business Hosts Fundraising Gala for Pantry on June 5th

In a true display of “neighbors feeding neighbors,” South Riding Women in Business is hosting its first community charity gala with proceeds benefiting the Dulles South Food Pantry (DSFP).
Taking place Sunday, June 5, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Briar Patch Bed and Breakfast in Middleburg, Va., the gala will feature a festive Derby theme, complete with networking, hors d’ouevres, and beverages.

The gala is open to the public, and all proceeds support the Pantry. Tickets are $75 and may be purchased online.

“We’re very thankful that the South Riding Women in Business chose the Pantry as the charity beneficiary of its first gala event,” said Charlene Jones, president of the DSFP. “Through this generosity, we will be able to assist more individuals in need.”

South Riding Women in Business is a philanthropic networking group comprised of active business women within the Dulles South area of Loudoun County. For more information on how to join the gala’s diamond-level sponsors, J Beauty Studio andKR Construction, as a sponsor, visit the Gala Website.

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March 2016 Newsletter – Crossroads Jobs Helps Dulles South Food Pantry Support Guest Self-Sufficiency Goals

crossroads-jobDSFP has partnered with job placement organization Crossroads Jobs to provide job counseling services to its guests.

To date, Crossroads has assisted nearly 200 people in regaining control of their situations by finding jobs that help them earn living wages in Loudoun County. The only job placement service of its type in the county, Crossroads provides a comprehensive process for candidates—from orientation to job placement.

“Crossroads offers concrete steps individuals can take to lead them on the path to independence,” said Charlene Jones, president, DSFP. “Our organizations complement each other in extending support to Pantry guests.”

Read our full blog on Crossroads. View more information on Crossroads.

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February 2016 Newsletter – Celebrating Two Years, From Inspiration to Operation

Just two years ago, the Dulles South Food Pantry (DSFP) was only a 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.

“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.”

Today, the Pantry has helped more than 270 families, and the 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 amazing support of the Dulles South community.
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January 2016 Newsletter – Driving the Extra Mile!

Of all of our amazing and dedicated volunteers, we wanted to highlight the great work of our volunteer driving team, led by our Driving Team Coordinator, Karen Grant.  Karen and the team, of over 24 drivers, are constantly on the move!   The team regularly picks up from four donation locations in Dulles South plus additional locations during the holidays.  They do “dairy runs” to pick up the milk and eggs for each of our distribution nights and pick up food recovery items from our local schools.  Each week, the drivers deliver nearly 100 Friday Food Packs to 8 local schools.   We have several drivers who have been with the pantry since its inception. The top 5 drivers with the most hours, served over 270 hours in the last year.  At times this work can be difficult, lifting heavy boxes from place to place.  In addition, these drivers donate the use of their vehicles and the gas it takes to move thousands of pounds of food to where it needs to go.  Not a week goes by where they are not hitting the road to help our hungry neighbors.   If you’d like to join this awesome team, please contact drivers@dsfp.org.  You will need to complete a Volunteer Application as well as attend a Volunteer orientation session.   Thanks for driving the extra mile!Continue reading