AFAC Plans Events for Hunger Action Month

by Katie Pyzyk August 29, 2012 at 9:50 am 3,835 17 Comments

The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) has organized a number of local events and volunteer opportunities to recognize September as the nation’s Hunger Action Month.

The main event is being called the “Hunger Challenge,” during which residents are asked to try feeding themselves on $4.03 per day. That’s the amount of assistance the average Arlington resident would receive from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Participants are asked to try the challenge all month, for a week or even just a day, in an effort to understand the difficulty some of their neighbors have with feeding themselves and their families.

“If you struggle to eat well on $28.21 per week, you’ll understand how glad AFAC clients are to be able to fill the gap in their food budget with the milk, eggs, produce, meat and other items distributed by AFAC,” said Charles Meng, AFAC’s Executive Director.

AFAC currently helps about 1,600 families per week, which continues its recent trend of serving an all-time high number of people. Mona Bormet, AFAC Outreach and Research Manager, noted that it’s difficult and often embarrassing for people to receive assistance, but they may not have other options.

“They don’t really want to come here for help, they come here because they need to,” Bormet said. “Most people would rather be able to take care of themselves and their families on their own.”

AFAC is also offering the following volunteer opportunities to help fight hunger throughout September:

  • Help collect food donations at local Safeway stores from September 8-11.
  • Help pick fresh produce from area farms and gardens that will be used for food donations, on September 8, 15, 22 and 29.
  • Eat at Pete’s Apizza (3017 Clarendon Blvd) on Monday, September 17, from 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. and 25 percent of the proceeds will be donated to AFAC.
  • Attend movie night at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) on Wednesday, September 19th, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Join AFAC and filmmaker Cintia Cabib in the main auditorium for a screening of “A Community of Gardeners.” The film highlights D.C. community gardens and their vital role.
  • Join AFAC’s Young Professionals on Thursday, September 20, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Whitlow’s on Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd) for Mug Night.
  • Try the California Dreaming Wine Tasting at Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop (1025 N. Fillmore Street) on Monday, September 24, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. All of the proceeds will be donated to AFAC. The event is limited to 45 people, and costs $15.99 to sample 10 wines and cheeses.

Anyone interested can get involved with these and other AFAC volunteer opportunities by signing up online.

  • HD

    uhhh, no.

  • Ballstonian

    If your food budget is $28.21/week – ie. entirely from SNAP – you really shouldn’t be living in Arlington. I’d personally move elsewhere to save money on rent.

    • gnarlington

      People don’t choose to be hungry. Falling on hard times by losing a job, getting very ill, helping struggling family members, etc; these are things that can happen to all of us, no matter who we are, where we live or what we do.

      The current “every man for himself” sentiment that is permeating our politics and pop culture disgusts me. Have we as a great nation, forgotten what it means to be charitable and kind? That what makes America great is not only its opportunities but its caring spirit for our fellow men?

      • Someone

        Charity and kindness can come without the assistance of government (the politics you mention), and I think that’s what many people who you are thinking of would prefer. The types of programs mentioned in this article…not the forced charity of government taxes. Conservatives donate more to charity than liberals. Liberals may talk the talk in politics and sound really caring, but certainly if they were cared more than conservatives about charity, they’d be donating more of their own money, no?

        • Unbelievable

          I didn’t see anything partisan in gnarlington’s post but leave it to trolls like Somone to push their political views into every single article.

      • Hollywood

        “Have we as a great nation, forgotten what it means to be charitable and kind?”

        I’m all for charity, clearly there are a lot of caring people out there that want to help others who are down on their luck, BUT why does the government have to be involved??? You people need to see this for what it really is: buying votes. Once you get people used to their free stuff, they won’t part with it easily, just look at Greece. It creates a lifetime voter in favor of the entitlement state. As a side note, I see SNAP being abused everywhere, I don’t buy this $4/day statistic.

        • Mick Way

          AFAC is a non-profit corp. Peeked at their 2011 statment and AC gave them $340k verses $1.4million in general contributions. They’re good people there.

          • Rebecky


  • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

    Cleveland is the answer! $350 a month. 2 BR


  • Stating the Obvious

    If you’re living in Arlington, and don’t need SNAP, you really shouldn’t think twice about helping out neighbors whose parents weren’t as well-off as your own.

    • Someone

      Your assumption is nauseating.

      • Stating the Obvious

        Indeed. As was the assumption I was responding to. That was my point.

  • Buckwheat

    No bureaucracy at AFAC. This type of organization is much more effective at putting food and dollars to the benefit of recipients than the Feds.

    Give freely and give often!

    • Ricardo

      Agreed! But… the Feds took the money that I was going to give to AFAC. Oh well.

  • APSNumberone

    Organize a food drive at your place of work, and deliver the food to AFAC. They are enormously grateful and you are helping folks who really need it right in your own community. Most of us can spare a can of beans, soup, tuna, etc. now and then.

    • nom de guerre

      Speaking of tuna, Sam’s is featuring sesame encrusted ahi tuna, infused with ginger and garlic, pan seared to perfection and served on a pita with green nori, thinly sliced red onions and a wasabi infused mayonnaise. Only while supplies last.

  • tangerine

    Food drive? How about a get your lazy ass off the couch drive?


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