October 2019
CROP Hunger Walk
October 12
Strap on your fitness trackers for the 50th annual CROP Hunger Walk! Register your team or join AFAC's for a 5K or 10K walk through Arlington. Proceeds go towards international hunger relief organizatons and 25% going locally to AFAC! Click for more information.
Food Drive at Cherrydale Safeway
October 26 & 27
AFAC will be at the Cherrydale Safeway grocery store for a food drive! Volunteers will be on hand to collect donations from 10 am - 4 pm on both days. You can help out by purchasing a few extra items to donate for our families in need. We are looking some more volunteers to help! Sign up using the online volunteer calendar or email volunteer4afac@afac.org.
Haunted House Food Drive
October 25, 26, 31
For a 4th year in a row, Boy Scout Troop 104 is hosting a haunted house at 4228 N Old Glebe Rd! Admission is FREE with a requested food donation for AFAC. This haunted house is fun for all ages and there will be candy for the brave souls who make it through! See the event page for times and more details.
Dominion Guild Merry Market
November 12 & 13
Want an early start on shopping for the holidays? The Dominion Guild's annual Merry Market is on November 12 & 13. Purchase tickets to get access to the market full of vendors to meet your holiday gift needs. Proceeds from this event go to local charities with AFAC being one of the beneficiaries this year! Click here to purchase tickets. For a preview of the market vendors, visit Dominion Guild's Instagram page.
Turkey Trot
November 28
The 14th annual Arlington Turkey Trot registration page is live! AFAC is one of six race beneficiaries for this charity race. Sign up now for this Thanksgiving morning race before space runs out! https://arlingtonvaturkeytrot.org/

The Turkey Trot is looking for more volunteers. AFAC does not offer volunteer activities on Thanksgiving Day, so if you are looking for opportunities to serve the community on that day, you can sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050849abaa2fa2f58-14th
Help AFAC Prepare for the Holidays
It's not too early to start to think about how you can help AFAC during the November & December holiday season! During those months, we usually see a record amount of families looking for food assistance.

Click here to register a Holiday Food Drive for your business or organization.

Click here to create a Hope Against Hunger fundraising campaign for your group to help sponsor turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Volunteer Needs
Drivers Wanted
As the holiday food drive season will be fast approaching, we need a handful of volunteers who are available during weekday hours to deliver food drive boxes to the apartment buildings, companies, schools and other entities that will have food drives for us this season. The boxes are flat and light and fit into most cars. If you like to add a little work out to your volunteering and have a slightly larger than average size car, we also need people willing to pick up food drives. Just tell us a day or two that you'd be willing to drive for us and we'll get you started. You set your own schedule and you get to see lots of Arlington! Email volunteer4afac@afac.org if interested.
Also, if you're ready for a big adventure, we could use a few van drivers. Our van drivers either pick up harvests from local farms and farmers' markets, pick up the occasional food drive, and assist in delivering donations from grocery store food drives. Your commitment varies (busier mid-May through November). The vans are not fancy, but it's a great activity for people who don't have set schedules and love to drive. Send an email to volunteer4afac@afac.org if interested in driving our vans.
Volunteer Spotlight: Distribution Volunteers
If you have ever visited AFAC’s main location during distribution time, you know it gets incredibly busy! We usually serve over 100 families every morning, and our Distribution volunteers make that possible. Distribution volunteer jobs include: welcoming our clients at the door and handing out tickets, checking clients in at the front desk (for those trained in the check-in process), standing at one of the 10 food stations and helping our clients shop, checking the quality of donated food before it reaches our shelves, and helping to restock when our shelves run low.
Volunteer times for distribution are:
  • Monday through Friday mornings 9:15am-12:15pm
  • Saturday mornings 8:30-11:30am
  • Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:30-8:30pm

AFAC also has Social Worker distribution Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:00-2:15pm when social workers pick up food for their clients (who sometimes accompany them). We need 2 volunteers to help the scheduled check-in volunteer each day.

If you are interested in any distribution shift, you can find them on our online volunteer calendar.

Our distribution volunteers work tirelessly on behalf of our clients. We could not serve 2,400 families every week without their efforts.
Plot Against Hunger
Get updates from Plot Against Hunger by following Plot's own group on Facebook!
This Plot Against Hunger section of Fresh News is brought to you today by the vegetable, Sweet Potatoes - a great source of vitamins B and C, beta-carotene, and fiber!
In recent weeks, our community partner, JK Farm harvested 9000 lbs of sweet potatoes in one week and distributed it to area food pantries. Our volunteer driver, Mark, has brought back hundreds of pounds for AFAC.

This past Saturday, at Arlington Central Library, gardeners harvested both sweet potato roots and sweet potato leaves for AFAC (pictured).

On Tuesday, gardener Walter R. harvested bagfuls of sweet potato leaves and brought them for the AFAC grocery distribution at the Woodland Hill senior residence, much to the delight of the residents who are originally from Southeast Asia. Here are some recipes for using sweet potato leaves.
TJMS Student's Sweet Potato Project
On Monday, 8th grader, Ava Fischer and her friends delivered over 1,100 lbs of sweet potatoes that they planted, grew and harvested for AFAC on Ava's grandparents' farm on the Northern Neck. This half-ton harvest fulfills a community service requirement for the International Baccalaureate program at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Click to read more about her project.
Sweet Potatoes: Fun Fact
Sweet potatoes, introduced to China from the Philippines (via Spanish galleons voyaging from the Americas), are said to have prevented not only famine, but also created a population boom during the late Ming/early Qing dynasty because it was easy to grow and tolerant of poor soil and marginal conditions.

So let's remember this important New World Crop as we approach Columbus (Indigenous Peoples) Day.

Urban Agriculture Month
Thank you to all the gardeners who opened their garden gates for visitors this past weekend, in observation of Urban Agriculture Month in Arlington. Upcoming events include: a tour of a rooftop garden in the heart of Clarendon, a free screening of "Growing Cities" at Marymount University's main campus, harvesting trips to local orchards with AFAC, and more.

Thank You
Thank you to AIA Northern Virginia and all the architecture firms for putting on the 16th annual Canstruction competition at Dulles Airport! If you are headed out that way, you can see the amazing structures at the baggage claim area through Saturday, October 12. On the 13th, the structures will be taken down and all the food will come to AFAC!

Many thanks to our volunteers, shoppers, and BJ's for hosting a food drive which yielded 1,981 pounds of food to AFAC!

A big thank you to our volunteers and Giant at Lyon Village and Giant at Virginia square for hosting our annual Stuff the Bus food drive! Between the two stores, AFAC collected 4,060 pounds of donated food! Thank you to all the shoppers and volunteers for your help!
Thank you to all those who held food drives or donated to Plot Against Hunger in September!

10th and Barton Community Garden; Amazon Web Services; Aurora Hills Branch Library; Arlington Church of the Brethren; Arlington County's Aging & Disability Services Division; Arlington Presbyterian Church and Garden; Arlington Science Focus School; Arlington Traditional School; Brigade of Mercy; Calvary UMC; Cherrydale Branch Library; Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints; Central Library & Garden; Clarendon Presbyterian Garden; Darcie S.; Elizabeth Daffin; Emmanuel Presbyterian Church; Faith Lutheran Church and Garden; Fast Enterprises LLC; First Presbyterian Church & Garden; Fort Barnard Community Garden; Glebe and Lang Garden Club; Glebe Community Garden; Grace Community Church; Hoffman-Boston School Garden; JK Farms; Kinder Haus Toys; Lancaster Co-Op CSA; Lidl; Loudon Hunger Relief; Marker-Miller Farm; Marymount University's Food for Thought Garden Club; Montgomery Library; NOVA Catholic Community; Our Savior Lutheran Church; Potomac Overlook Garden; Resident Inn; Restoration Anglican Church; Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church; Resurrection Lutheran Church and Garden; Rock Spring UCC & Garden; Roy Croom; St. Andrew's Episcopal Church & Garden; St. George's Episcopal Church and Garden; St. John's Episcopal Church; St. Michael's Episcopal Church; St. Stephen's and St. Agnes Lower School Garden; Susan Howell's Garden; Territory Foods; TJMS Garden; Trinity Episcopal Church; USDA Agricultural Research Service; US Fish and Wildlife Service; Walter Reed Annex Garden; Westover Branch Library & Garden; Women's Club of Arlington

Big thanks to the Arlington Public Schools that donate healthy snacks on a weekly basis as a part of the Food Bus program: Abingdon ES, Arlington Science Focus ES, Arlington Traditional ES, Ashlawn ES, Discovery ES, McKinley ES, Nottingham ES, Oakridge ES, Tuckahoe ES, Temple Rodef Shalom's Religious School, and Washington-Lee HS.

Many thanks to the farmers' markets and farm vendors in Arlington who donate unsold fresh and local produce to AFAC all season long. Participating farmers' markets include Arlington Courthouse, Ballston, Columbia Pike, Crystal City, Fairlington, Marymount, Rosslyn, and Westover.
Fresh News is generously sponsored by Washington Workplace
Arlington Food Assistance Center | 703.845.8486 | www.afac.org