Food for Others is just one of several local sources of food for needy families. The holidays bring a wonderful supply of donated food to these pantries, but afterward donations drop off. To address the ongoing needs of these charities, an annual partnership among Fairfax County Government and local grocery stores aims to restock the shelves of area food pantries. Each weekend from now through Feb. 18 (9:30-4:30) a Fastran bus staffed by MV Transportation personnel will park at a different location and collect food donations. On Saturday, February 9th, at Fair City Mall Shoppers, 9622 Main Street, Fairfax, you can help stuff the bus to benefit Food for Others! But there are other locations that will benefit the other good food banks serving Northern Virginia.
Look for the Fastran bus and give whatever you can give.
- Lorton Valley Giant, 8941 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079 (Benefiting Lorton Community Action Center)
- Fairfax Walmart, 11181 Lee Hwy., Fairfax, VA 22030 (Benefiting Our Daily Bread)
- Loehmann’s Plaza Giant, 7235 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, VA 22042 (Benefiting Falls Church Community Service Council)
- Fair City Mall Shoppers, 9622 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22031 (Benefiting Food for Others)
- McLean Giant, 1454 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 22101 (Benefiting Share, Inc.)
- Clifton Giant, 5740 Union Mill Road, Clifton, VA 20124 (Benefiting Western Fairfax Christian Ministries)
- Huntsman Square Giant, 7501 Huntsman Blvd., Springfield, VA 22153 (Benefiting Ecumenical Community Helping Others)
Last year, more than 25,000 lbs. of food was collected for local pantries, all benefiting local nonprofits that help feed needy families in the Fairfax community.
"Stuff the Bus is an important component in restocking pantries after the holidays," notes Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Beloved. "The need for healthy food is ever growing and the interest for Fairfax County residents to help is there, so we are happily providing the bridge to bring them together."
This program was initiated by Fairfax County and MV Transportation to combat a drop of food donations after the holidays and to address the rise in food-security issues across the county:
- In 2010, 1 out of 5 county students reported going hungry at least some of the time in the past 30 days.
- Since 2008, the number of food-stamp participants in Fairfax County increased more than 115 percent, which means that more than 4.5 percent of the population are now accessing the food-stamp program.
According to Roxanne Rice, executive director at Food for Others, "Food pantries address a critical need which is especially acute after the holidays. The Stuff the Bus campaign helps us help our community. Its importance to helping stock the shelves can't be overstated,"