November 2019
Scouting for Food - Saturday, November 9
The annual ‘Scouting for Food’ drive is this Saturday! If you got a notice or a bag this past Saturday (November 2), please leave your food donations by your front door by 8 am on November 9th so the scouts can see it as they approach. Donations in Arlington will be delivered to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) and distributed to neighbors in need.

Preferred food donations include low-sodium canned goods, low-sugar cereal, cooking oil, and peanut butter. Please refrain from donating expired foods, opened packages, glass containers, or household items.

If you did not receive a notice/bag or if you missed the scouts, bring your non-perishable food donations to the following locations: Fairlington Community Center; Arlington Mill Community Center; Arlington Public Library Branches: Aurora Hills, Central Library, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Shirlington, or Westover; and AFAC’s warehouse. Donations can be dropped off throughout the week during the normal hours of operations at each location.

Scouting for Food is the largest single-day food drive for AFAC. The hope is to collect 60,000 pounds of food this year. Please consider making a donation to the scouts this weekend.
We'll Miss You, Puwen!
AFAC's Associate Director of Programs and Plot Against Hunger Manager, Puwen Lee, will be retiring from AFAC after 13 years of employment. Her last day here will be Friday, November 15. She has touched the lives of so many people here in the community and we will miss her dearly. Click here and share your favorite memory with Puwen or to leave her a farewell message.
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.
Ballston Farmers' Market Food Drive
November 21
Ballston Farmers' Market is having a fresh food food drive on Thursday, November 21 from 3-7 pm. Support local farmers and AFAC families at the same time!
Arlington Turkey Trot
November 28
Don't forget to sign up for the 14th annual Arlington Turkey Trot! AFAC is one of six race beneficiaries for this charity race. Sign up now for this Thanksgiving morning race before space runs out!

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:
Light Up the Village
December 5
Kick off your holiday season in Shirlington at Light Up the Village from 6:00-8:30pm on Thursday, December 5. The family-friendly event will feature musical performances, a tree lighting ceremony, face painting and balloon animals, pictures with Santa, and horse and carriage rides. The horse and carriage rides are staffed by AFAC volunteers and admission for this portion is a non-perishable or monetary donation.
Gifts that Give Hope
December 7
AFAC will be at the annual Gifts that Give Hope event, an alternative gift fair where shoppers can honor their friends and family by donating to local nonprofits and supporting those in need. This year's event will be at Arlington Science Focus School on Saturday, December 7 from 10am to 2pm. Click here for more event details.
Winter Wonderland
December 8
The Mike Webb real estate team will be hosting a FREE Winter Wonderland event at Arlington Mill Community Center on Sunday, December 8 from 2-6 pm. There will be photos with Santa, food, and fun arts and crafts activities! Donations of food will be collected for AFAC. Click here for more details.
Sponsor Holiday Meals for Families in Need
A donation to AFAC's Hope Against Hunger campaign provides a Thanksgiving turkey to a family in need! Your support allows an AFAC family to receive a holiday bird in addition to their weekly groceries right before the November holiday. Click here to donate.
Volunteer Needs
We can use some help getting ready for a busy season. You can find out more by going to the online calendar or emailing for more details. Here are just a few ways that you can help in November and early December:

Food Distribution

If you have some daytime flexibility in the month of November (9:15-12:15 M-F or 12:45-2:15 Tuesday-Thursday), we might be able to use your help. We also have some space at some Tuesday PM, Thursday PM and Saturday distributions. Check the online calendar for available shifts.

Special Events

Some of the events listed above are in need of volunteers. Opportunities to help at the Ballston Farmers' Market food drive, Light Up the Village, and Gifts that Give Hope are available on the online calendar. To sign up to help the Turkey Trot, visit their website.

Drivers for Food Drives

And finally, between now and the end of the year is our busiest time for food drives. We need people who are not daunted by traffic or parallel parking to consider delivering empty food drive boxes and/or picking up small food drive collections within Arlington. It's almost always a last-minute assignment, but you can make your deliveries when it fits your schedule. Bring a friend to make it more fun and you'll also get a good work out by transporting the food. Email to be added to our crew of good elves.
Volunteer Spotlight: Young Professionals
Did you know over 250 Young Professionals (YPs) volunteered at AFAC in the past year (not including groups)? We rely on dedicated volunteers to keep AFAC running smoothly, and our YP volunteers help us accomplish this goal!

AFAC has two evenings per month reserved for young professional volunteers. YP distribution night is the 2nd Thursday of each month and YP bagging night is the 3rd Monday of each month. These events are a great way to connect with other young professionals, give back to society, and have fun at the same time! Look for these and other events on the volunteer calendar.

Young professionals can also join our AFAC Young Professionals Facebook group to connect with other YP volunteers and keep up with events.
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 vegetables collards and turnips - hearty and healthy produce ripe for the harvest as the temperatures start to drop.
AFAC gleaners spent a beautiful morning this Monday at the USDA-Beltsville Research Station, picking 1,396 pounds of collards and turnips. Exclamations of "Holy Cow!" and "Oh my" were heard from volunteers as they bent and harvested the field of lush and crisp broad blue-green collard leaves. What is the sound of collards being harvested? Something akin to the sound of husking a fresh ear of corn.

At USDA, entomologist Don Weber and his team have been growing collards for a series of experiments to protect that valuable cash crop from harlequin bugs. AFAC is grateful to be the beneficiaries and recipients of some of Beltsville's crop experiments. After gathering a mess o'greens, volunteers went on to another field to pull purple-top turnips that came out of the ground as big and round as softballs.
Please join us on Wednesday morning, November 13, for another harvesting trip at the USDA Beltsville fields. Contact for details.
Fun Facts about Collards & Turnips
Collards have a long history, having been cultivated in Europe for thousands of years, with references from Greece and Rome dating back to the 1st century. Popular in the southern United States, collards are grown worldwide .They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and contain some fatty acids. Hearty and nutritious, collards should be a staple in everyone's diet.

The word turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) is a compound of tur- as in turned/rounded on a lathe and neep, derived from Latin napus, the word for the plant. In Scotland, "bashed neeps" are often served with haggis on Burns Night.
Thank You
We held two grocery store food drives at two Safeway locations in Arlington in October. A huge thank you to the Safeways on North Harrison St and Cherrydale for allowing AFAC to be there to collect donations from their customers! Thank you to all the shoppers who donated a total of 2,553 lbs to AFAC!
Thank you to all those who held food drives or donated to Plot Against Hunger in October!

10th & Barton Community Garden; Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture; Arlington Church of the Brethren; Arlington Metaphysical Church; Arlington Presbyterian Church & Garden; Arlington Traditional School; Arlington Unitarian Co-op Preschool; Ballet Nova; Brigade of Mercy; Calvary UMC; Cherrydale Branch Library; Church of the Bretheren; Central Library & Garden; Clarendon Presbyterian Church Garden; Faith Lutheran Church and Garden; First Presbyterian Church & Garden; Fort Barnard Community Garden; Girl Scout Troops #60067; Glebe & Lang Garden Club; Glebe Community Garden; Hoffman-Boston School Garden; JK Community Farm; Kim & Mohammad Baten; Kinder Haus Toys; Lancaster Co-Op CSA; Loudoun Hunger Relief; Marymount University's Food for Thought Garden Club; Memorial Baptist Church; Mount Olive Baptist Church; Mount Olivet United Methodist Church; Nicecream; NOVA Catholic Community; Potomac Overlook Garden; Resurrection Lutheran Church & Garden; Rock Spring UCC & Garden; Roy Croom; Seth Peleg; Shirlington Branch Library; St. Andrew's Episcopal Church & Garden; St. Ann's Catholic Church; St. George's Episcopal Church & Garden; St. John's Episcopal Church; Marker Miller Farms; St. Stephen's & St. Agnes Lower School Garden; Susan Howell's Garden; Territory Foods; Temple Sinai Religious School; Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology; Thomas Jefferson Middle School Garden; USDA Agricultural Research 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 |