More than 70 people attended Sunday afternoon's grand opening of Western Fairfax Christian Ministries' (WFCM) new location in Chantilly. Its business office, food pantry and clothes closet are all under one roof at 13981 Metrotech Drive in the Sully Place Shopping Center.
Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) cut the ribbon with the WFCM Board of Directors, the Rev. Barbara Ryder of St. John's Episcopal Church gave the blessing and WFCM board President Debra Hagan addressed the crowd.
Several people received recognition and appreciation certificates from WFCM Executive Director Dorothy Fonow for their hard work during the relocation, including those who loaned trucks and donated rugs and office furniture. Staff members and volunteers who help with WFCM's daily operations were also honored.
Hagan received flowers and, said Fonow, "Without her drive and determination, the move would not have run so smoothly or on schedule."
With more than 200 active volunteers and 26 churches, WFCM serves residents of Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fair Oaks, Fair Lakes and Fairfax Station. It helps the needy with food, clothing and financial aid — for rent, electricity and medical bills — in crisis situations. It provides transportation to and from doctor's appointments, and its Kids in Crisis program helps families struggling financially because of seriously ill children.
Although Fairfax County's considered a prosperous place, it's tough for those with barely enough money to scrape by. "We're giving away 1,000 bags of food a month," said Fonow. "It's about 43 percent more than this time, last year. And it's 46 percent more than the year before — so we're giving out twice as much food as we have in the past two years."
The Boy Scouts will conduct a food drive for WFCM on Nov. 8 but, in the meantime, increased demand is dwindling the food supply in WFCM's pantry. Especially needed are canned fruits, juices, meats and fish, boxed and canned pasta meals, and personal-care products.
"This year's been a bad one because of all the rain we had," said Fonow. "So the earnings of anyone who works outside have been seriously reduced."