About Food For Neighbors

Food For Neighbors understands the value in helping middle and high school students obtain a more reliable source of food for their next meal. With the support of local donorsvolunteers and businesses who are making a difference in their community, the schools we partner with attest to the positive impact our programs are having on their students. We are committed to ending hunger in all of Northern Virginia to help give all students a chance to succeed.


Our mission is to end child hunger in the Northern Virginia area by raising awareness and community involvement. Through awareness comes a desire to help because no one believes a child should struggle with hunger.

Interested in bringing Food For Neighbors to your community?

Are you interested in engaging your community to help local teens? We would love to talk to you about bringing our program to your area.


How We Help

Food For Neighbors provides local middle and high schools with individual meals and snack items to distribute during times when students might otherwise go hungry. We connect with their social workers and help the schools set up a weekend snack program or food pantry to distribute the food.


We provide the platform for schools to engage their local community to donate food and help gather volunteers in the community to assist with picking up donations, sorting the food and distributing to schools in their area. Physical food donations go to participating schools in the immediate area, and Food For Neighbors provides any surplus to other Northern Virginia schools needing extra support at the time.


This is done through our Red Bag Program. We distribute Red Bags to donors and include a specific list of items we need, and then collect the bags bi-monthly on a Saturday. We also provide support and marketing materials for schools to engage their community to receive in-kind donations from individuals, area businesses, stores and local faith organizations.  

Our program began in Herndon, VA, where the local community quickly responded to the need for food at our local middle and high schools. Now our students are benefitting weekly from the consistent and reliable source of donated food. FFN has expanded into schools in the Springfield, Falls Church and Fort Hunt areas, as well as neighboring schools in Loudoun County and Arlington County.  And with your help, we can continue to reach even more students.


For a list of middle and high school that we currently partner with in Northern Virginia, click here.


How It All Began

Mark and Karen Joseph, Founders

As PTA President of her son’s middle school, Karen first became aware of the high percentage of students participating in the free and reduced-price lunch programs. She learned that many of these students participated in Saturday service projects because lunch was provided.  A Social Worker shared that many of the students didn’t have food over the weekends and relied on the school providing breakfast and lunch during the school week – often their only meals for the day!


Upon further investigation she learned that many groups and organizations helped the elementary students in this situation.  The challenge came in finding groups to support a weekend food program for the older students attending middle and high school.  The reasons were mostly about numbers.  There were just too many students in need.


Karen and her husband Mark decided that they could support these older kids with the help of the local community.  Knowing they would  need a team of volunteers and more resources to sustain weekend snack programs at the schools, they founded Food For Neighbors.

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. 

- Mahatma Ghandi

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Food for Neighbors® is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public charity and your donation is tax-deductible under U.S. tax law. To claim a donation as an itemized deduction on your taxes, please keep your email donation receipt that we will send you. Any funds raised in excess of our goal for any particular project will be automatically applied to the other ongoing work of Food for Neighbors.

© Food For Neighbors