Since its inception in early April, the Cooperative for a Hunger Free Arlington (CHFA) has worked to coordinate efforts across the County to ensure that every resident has access to the food they need during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
The Cooperative is comprised of the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), Arlington Public Schools and Arlington’s Department of Human Services, all of which provide safety net services. By streamlining existing efforts, and filling emerging needs through partnerships within the community, the CHFA has helped Arlingtonians in need of food assistance:
- Since May 1, CHFA volunteers have delivered 6,174 meals to homebound COVID-19 positive patients and immunocompromised clients, with plans to provide an additional 14,000 meals over the next two months, in partnership with Jeffrey’s Catering
- Since the state of emergency declaration on March 15, referrals to AFAC increased by 36 percent, from 3606 individuals to 4902 on May 10
- 3,325 meals delivered (over three weeks) to homebound seniors, with plans for an additional 8,925 meals over the next seven weeks
- Since May 1, CHFA volunteers delivered 3,640 flash frozen meals and 20 families received AFAC groceries as a direct result of a referral from the County’s food hotline, 703-228-1300
- APS has provided over 124,000 meals after schools closed in March
- Gift cards, groceries and meals for an additional 1,400 families in Arlington, in partnership with area PTAs and Real Food for Kids
“It’s been gratifying to see County government, APS, non-profits like the Arlington Community Foundation and AFAC, the faith-based community and many volunteers work cooperatively to ensure no one in Arlington goes hungry. The level of generosity shown and spirit of ‘we’re all in this together’ has been and continues to be inspiring,” said Diane Kresh, Director of Libraries.
Diane Kresh is co-leading this effort with former APS School Board Chair Abby Raphael; Charles Meng, Executive Director and CEO of AFAC; and Leslie Peterson, APS Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Management Services.
Visit the County’s Food Assistance page for more information and additional food assistance efforts.