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AFAC Begins Distributing Thanksgiving Meals to Needy Families

by ARLnow.com November 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm 3,098 15 Comments

The Arlington Food Assistance Center has begun its annual distribution of Thanksgiving dinners to needy families.

AFAC expects to distribute some 1,800 frozen turkeys between today and Saturday, when the distribution ends. The organization is also distributing stuffing and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, in addition to its normal weekly food distribution (eggs, milk, pasta, canned goods, etc.).

Rep. Jim Moran joined volunteers at AFAC’s Shirlington distribution site this afternoon. The 66-year-old congressman helped to distribute food to AFAC clients, in an effort to draw more attention to the group’s mission.

“I’m hoping to bring a little extra visibility to what AFAC does so that more people will support it financially and through volunteerism,” Moran told ARLnow.com. “This is the best, most extensive feeding program for Arlington residents… who don’t have the material resources to adequately feed their family. [AFAC] uses the least public money, has the most volunteers and is run the most efficiently.”

AFAC is handing out Thanksgiving dinners at all 12 of the group’s distribution sites in Arlington. Executive Director Charles Meng says this week is typically the busiest time of the year for the organization. Since AFAC recently set an all-time high for the number of families it served in a week, Meng expects it may set another record this week.

“Our demand is still increasing and the growth has not yet stopped,” Meng said. “So something’s happening in the community that’s still driving people to us.”

Meng says he believes “underemployment” is a problem for a significant number of AFAC clients — many who were formerly unemployed have found jobs, but the jobs they’ve found aren’t paying enough (often minimum wage) to allow them to buy all the food they need for their families.

“The bottom line is that people don’t really want to come here,” Meng said. “Yes, we’re giving out food — it’s free —  but you really don’t want to come here. You’d prefer to go to a local grocery store, get your own food, select what you want.”

New AFAC clients must first be referred to the organization by Arlington’s Department of Human Services, Arlington Public Schools, churches or some other social service agency.

  • TGEoA

    I guess Moran can spare some time from insider trading to have a photo or two snapped of him.

    I hope his turkey has salmonella.

    • AllenB

      “I hope his turkey has salmonella.”

      Sad comment. And yet even sadder, not a new low for you.

      • TGEoA

        I hope he invites you to dinner

        • AllenB

          Awww… that’s so sweet of you to have concern about where I spend my holidays.

          But I have other places to go… you however, probably not.

          • drax

            Both of you shut up and go sit at the kids table.

          • AllenB

            Back off, Dad.

  • curious george

    They could distribute venison.

  • 1234

    Surprising that Zimmie and the rest of the Co. crew couldn’t make it down.

    • Resident

      re:1234, I bet the Co. board folks will be at the trader joes opening. Priorities?

      • charlie

        not even all the wonderful candidates who “care so much” for the poor could make it there. sad.

        • drax

          It’s pathetic when people try to score political points this way, charlie. You only demean yourself.

  • foxy

    Can you tell us how we can help during this upcoming holiday season? We’d like to donate.

    • Frenchy B

      Here’s their website – http://www.afac.org/

    • WI Native

      There’s also drop-boxes at some grocery stores (I’ve seen a few) and on some ART buses as well.

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