Food For Neighbors...because hunger is closer than you think.

Food For Neighbors is an organization operated and supported by local donors, volunteers and businesses who care about the students in their community. We understand the value in helping students obtain a more reliable source of food for their next meal.  The social workers we partner with attest to the positive impact our program is having on their students. We are committed to ending hunger in all of Northern Virginia to help give all students a chance to succeed.

We're making headlines with our work in the community. Check out some feature articles here.

Our Mission

Our mission is to end child hunger in the Northern VA 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.

 

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 recieve 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 with your help, we can continue to reach even more students.

Food Insecurity in Northern Virginia

"Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life. Food insecurity is one way we can measure and assess the risk of hunger. In the United States currently, 1 in 9 people struggle with hunger." (from Feeding America)

 

In Virginia, 1 in 10 people struggles with hunger and 1 in 8 children struggle with hunger. In Fairfax and Loudoun counties, that number is 1 in 4 children.

 

In Fairfax County, ranked 2nd nationally for highest median household income, 7.1 percent of residents (76,000 out of 1,064,735 individuals) are food insecure. 

 

In the 2019-20 school year, Free & Reduced Lunch participation has seen an increase:

  • In Fairfax County, Herndon Middle School had 54% of their students on Free & Reduced Lunch and Herndon High School had over 48% of their students on Free & Reduced Lunch, both up 6% from two years prior.
  • In Loudoun County, Park View High School had 66% of their students on Free & Reduced Lunch, also up 6% from the two years prior.

 

For more information: Hunger Eats at Student Productivity—And Our Future Workforce

Resources:

Feeding AmericaFCPS School ProfilesFairfax County Poverty DemographicsVirginia Department of Education Statistics

How It All Began

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 located in Herndon, VA, and proudly serves local middle and high school students in Fairfax County and Loudoun County.

© Food For Neighbors®

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®.