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Food For Others

food for othersFairfax County in Virginia ranks as the second wealthiest county in the United States. Ironically, Fairfax County is also an easy place to be poor. Minimum-wage workers here face rents that take 60 percent or more of their pay, forcing families to double up in crowded apartments. Or they live outside the county and must travel for hours to those low-wage jobs. Food, clothes, transportation, and health care? Often, little cash is left for these.

Based on U.S. Census figures, more than 70,000 people are living in poverty in Fairfax County and 30 percent of them are children. But in a wealthy county like Fairfax, where the cost of living is far from average, the national poverty guidelines do not give the real picture. Thousands more families are struggling here even though they do not qualify for federal food assistance.

Food for Others in Fairfax serves these families, providing free emergency food, distributing the USDA monthly food allotments, offering street-corner food deliveries in poor neighborhoods, and providing weekend food for students who receive free or reduced-cost lunches at school. FFO also delivers food in bulk to community partners, such as churches or shelters that have their own clientele.

Food for Others clients are mostly the working poor. Of course the unemployed are served as well, as are people in emergency situations such as illness or domestic violence, but the working poor predominate. FFO now serves up to 600 families every day Monday through Friday, and last year distributed over 2.2 million pounds of free food with a donation value of $3,340,000.

The food comes from many retail donors including grocery stores and farmers markets, as well as from the Capital Area Food Bank, food drives, and harvesting activities. Earlier this month, area Boy Scouts conducted their annual food drive (pictured above), just one of many major contributions to Food for Others food supplies throughout the year.

To carry out this work, Food for Others relies on a broad base of community donations and volunteers. Food for Others efforts are supported financially by hundreds of individual donations and by Fairfax County, by U.S. Community Services Block Grant funds, and by contributions from churches, businesses, and foundations.

This week, Food for Others is providing Thanksgiving food to clients sent by social-service agencies and religious groups, something that has become a tradition. The FFO warehouse distributes hundreds of turkeys and all the other groceries that go into Thanksgiving dinner. And while this week offers special food, Food for Others is committed to its clients not just at the holidays but throughout the year.

Fortunately, community support has kept pace with community need, even during the height of the recent recession. Now in its 22nd year of service, Food for Others is a key pillar supporting Fairfax County’s families in need.



Around Town 11/19-11/25

Around town template (1)Saturday, November 19, 2016

Girls on the Run 5K with Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia

The Girls on the Run 5K is more than a run, it’s the celebration of a season of work for thousands of local girls who’ve participated in this life changing program. Come run alongside our participants, families, and alumni, or sign up to volunteer and ensure each girl can cross this important finish line.

When: Sat Nov 19 2016 (08:30 AM)
Where: Pfitzner Stadium, 7 Country Complex CT, Woodbridge, VA 22192
Volunteer Info: Volunteers are needed in a variety of roles including registration, course management, water stations, finish line, and much more.
Contact: Emily Davis, (703) 273-3153
For more information:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Girls on the Run 5K with Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia

The Girls on the Run 5K is more than a run, its the celebration of a season of work for thousands of local girls who’ve participated in this life changing program. Come run alongside our participants, families, and alumni, or sign up to volunteer and ensure each girl can cross this important finish line.

When: Sun Nov 20 2016 (08:30 AM)
Where: Rosslyn, 1700 N Kent St Arlington, Arlington, VA 22209
Contact: Emily Davis, (703) 273-3153
For more information:

EWI Fourth Annual Artisan Marketplace with Empowered Women International, Inc

Come celebrate the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs from our community at the annual Artisan Marketplace event on November 20th. These outstanding women will showcase and sell their culturally inspired art, jewelry, and home decor from all over the world. Shop to your heart’s content for colleagues, family and friends, and discover the journey that brought these women where they are today.

When: Sun Nov 20 2016 (11:00 AM – 4:00 PM)
Where: Silver Spring Civic Center, 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Volunteer Info: Greet visitors, help entrepreneurs if needed; organize food for volunteers, etc.
Contact: Sita Mahtani, (240) 242-4812
For more information:

National Adoption Awareness Month with CASA DC

Blog Photo 2 (1)CASA for Children of DC promotes court appointed volunteer advocacy so that every abused and neglected child in the DC foster care system can be safe, establish permanence and have the opportunity to thrive.

CASA for Children of DC is excited to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month this November and shine the spotlight on adoption in our community and family. National Adoption Day is the Saturday before Thanksgiving and was created as an occasion for courts to finalize adoptions of children in foster care, joining them with their forever families in time for the holidays. Whatever your family’s background, National Adoption Day is a great time to celebrate adoption at home, engage with your the community, and lift up the adoptive, foster, or birth parents in your lives.

The goals of National Adoption Day are:

  • To finalize adoptions from foster care across the country
  • To celebrate and honor families who adopt
  • To increase awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for safe, permanent, and loving homes
  • To grow the alliance among local adoption agencies, courts and advocacy organizations

Celebrating our 15th anniversary next year, CASA for Children of DC has played a crucial role in supporting and advocating for over 1,000 children in foster care, with many of them being adopted into loving families each year. CASA Advocates ensure that the child’s placement is right, visiting the family and watching interactions with the child, and then making an informed recommendation to the judge. Advocates get to know their child and serve as the designated advocate in the courtroom.

A foster child spends an average of 4 years in foster care. That’s 4 years too long to wait for a permanent family and the love and affection every child needs. Children in foster care may be moved from family to family many times over during their time in the foster system. This instability can be traumatic and have lasting effects on youth.

Over half the foster children in the D.C. foster care system do not have a CASA volunteer to guide them through what is often a difficult season of life. We want every child who needs a CASA volunteer to have one. You have the opportunity to make a difference by becoming a CASA volunteer or by supporting the CASA for Children of D.C. program. With your help, we can work together to help D.C.’s foster youth find permanent, loving homes.

To learn more visit

7 Questions this Veterans Day

1st Sgt. Jose BarreiroThanksUSA is a national non-profit organization that thanks America’s military by providing need-based scholarships for their children and spouses. In honor of Veterans Day, we spoke with Andrea Barreiro, a ThanksUSA scholarship recipient and Army spouse who is currently studying at Kaplan University.

1. Tell us a little bit about your military family and background.
I have been married to my husband, who just changed out of the Charlie Company 1SG with The Old Guard, for over 16 years now. Our daughters Vivianna (14), Alysia (13) and Catalina (11) keep us very active in sports and their own personal community projects. We have also been raising our niece, Rylin, for the past few years. She keeps us all active and busy, being a 31/2 year old. I have been providing respite care to military families with special needs children for over four years now. I headed down this path after I had worked as a teacher and an assistant director at Kid’s Discovery. I was inspired by my wonderful friend and colleague Brenda Shoemake. She just makes everything sparkle and shows so much love and compassion towards children. I also now work at The Law Office of Michael Kevin Murphy as a legal assistant.

2. How has the ThanksUSA scholarship impacted you and your family?
When I received the phone call informing me that I had been awarded a full scholarship, I was in disbelief. My entire family is so very grateful for this opportunity. Education is so important to me, and I have never taken time out to think about myself. My family’s needs come before mine, so it is nice to have this opportunity. Being able to obtain this degree at Kaplan will not only help my family thrive, but we will be able to give back and have a lasting impact on the community around us. Helping others is such a gratifying experience, and I cannot wait to open our own business in North Carolina. We have already started designing our business plan and the outline for our programs.

3. What are your academic and career goals?
I am currently finishing up my Associate’s in Business Administration, specializing in financials, with Northern Virginia Community College. I just started my Bachelors of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavioral Analysis with Kaplan this week. After my husband retires from the military, we will be moving to Murphy, North Carolina. It is here that my husband and I wish to open our own business. This business will have many facets, such as training local law enforcement and government agencies but will also include a community outreach program to help mentor the youth in the area. We take trips throughout the year to go and speak to children at local high schools.

4. Who inspires you? Do you have a hero?
I have many people that inspire me. My grandmother and grandfather have inspired me to help others and pass along traditions and culture to our children. I am inspired by my children and God son, who travel the path of life and are figuring it out one step at a time. Their perseverance and determination show promise for future generations. I am inspired by my amazing circle of friends who are so selfless, constantly help others, are a voice for those who cannot speak, and are a rock of stability for all of us. These friends, to name a few, are Susan Reynolds, Mindy Brewster, Natasha Harth, Lee and Cameron Dougherty, Shelia Dudley, Trina Phillips, Jody Warshel, Jennifer Magerer, Christine Vance, Ingrid Yee and Alicia Ward. My hero is my husband, Jose. He is always ready to answer the call of service and has always been my rock, my best friend and my love.

5. What other types of activities have you been involved in at school or in your community?
I have recently been inducted into the honor societies Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I am also in the honors program at school. I feel it is important to relay to everyone that it’s never too late to accomplish your dreams and goals. I am also fortunate to be an Army Arlington Lady at Arlington National Cemetery. This is a very humbling organization to be part of, and I am proud to honor our fallen soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our country. I also help network with various organizations such as Military Spouse of the Year, Wreaths Across America, Heidi’s Pantry and local Family Readiness Groups that assist our military and their families. My daughter Alysia was recently named Virginia’s Pre-teen National American Miss Volunteer Service Award winner. We are so proud that our whole family volunteers to assist our community members.

6. How does being a scholarship recipient or member of a military family inspire you to give back?
Traveling the world and meeting people of various backgrounds and those who have traveled all walks of life gives you a different perspective on life. All of us have picked up our lives and moved to places with no family or support systems in place. I never judge others but only offer a helping hand. You never know what someone has gone through to get to where they are today. By receiving this scholarship, I am inspired even more to help those in need and those that constantly struggle. I’ve always believed that if you work hard enough, stay focused, and trust that things will work out for the best, they will. We may not know the reason why things end up the way they do, but I feel every day is a lesson that turns us into the person we are meant to become.

7. What would you say to donors and supporters of ThanksUSA?
THANK YOU for believing in us and providing the military children
and spouses with an opportunity to further ourselves. It is an
amazing and generous thing to help others. I truly believe that by affording someone an opportunity, you are creating a lasting impact on many generations to come. I cannot express to you how much this truly means to my family and me. I am looking forward to the future and am excited to help make changes in the world. I truly can never repay your kindness but promise to pay it forward by continuing to help those in need around me and to help inspire our future generations.

Barreiro Family

Around Town: 11/5-11/11

Saturday, November 05, 2016

15th Annual Gala & Auction with HomeAid Northern Virginia

When the weather starts to get cool, come where the jazz is hot, as HomeAid Northern Virginia celebrates its Roaring 15th Anniversary. Come down to the swanky Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles Hotel for a night of fun and fundraising. Featuring a speakeasy vibe, this year’s Gala & Auction promises to be the most happening joint in town.

When: Sat Nov 5 2016 (6:30 PM)
Where: Westfields Marriot Washington Dulles, 14750 Conference Center Drive, Chantilly, VA 20151
Fee – $200 for individuals and $2,000 for an entire table
Contact: Christy Eaton, (703) 283-6320
For more information: click here

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Complete the Circle FOODRaiser with Britepaths (formerly Our Daily Bread)

Local nonprofits Britepaths (formerly Our Daily Bread) and Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) invite community members to our annual Complete the Circle FOODRaiser. The event is a service project to feed local families in need and an Art for the Sky project by internationally renowned artist Daniel Dancer. More than 1,000 participants are expected to gather to enjoy live music, a family fun festival and be part of the living? Art for the Sky photo that will be surrounded by food donations that participants bring that day. Advance registration is encouraged. Admission is $5 ($10 for XXL event T-shirt), and attendees are encouraged to bring at least three food pantry items or a grocery store gift card that will be distributed to community members in need after the event. Details and registration are available at

When: Sun Nov 6 2016 (1:00 PM – 2:30 PM)
Where: South County Middle School, 8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079
Fee – $5; $10 for XXL Event T-shirt
Contact: Jennifer Rose, (703) 273-8829
For more information: click here

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Night of Wine, Jazz & Art for a Cause Food Recovery Network

Food Recovery Network is teaming up with cove to kick off the holidays with an event featuring wine, jazz, and art. A holiday gift market will be held as part of the night’s programming, as well as words from both hosts. Join us for a night of music, mingling, and shopping all in the name of a great cause. This event is free to all attendees and is strictly 21+.

When: Thu Nov 10 2016 (6:00 PM – 9:00 PM)
Where: Cove, 829 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
Fee – none
Contact: Annie Lobel, (781) 789-4220
For more information: click here

Samaritan Inns

imageSamaritan Inns has been a part of the Catalogue for Philanthropy since 2004. Founded in 1985 to help homeless and addicted people transform their lives, Samaritan Inns has an impressive record of getting people back on their feet, living in their own homes, sober, and employed.

Last year, Samaritan Inns launched their Women with Children Program at the Clark Inn, the first such program in the District of Columbia. Samaritan Inns landmark Women with Children Program addresses one of the most critically underserved populations in the District of Columbia by providing comprehensive treatment and recovery services to women who are battling substance use disorders and homelessness, while providing care for their children at the same location.

Since substance use affects the entire family unit; healing and recovery must involve the whole family. From this philosophy, Samaritan Inns used their 30 years of experience to create a program designed to preserve and heal the entire family unit.

Celebrate the first birthday of this fantastic program by reading more about Samaritan Inns and hear the story of one of our community members here.