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Ruby Tuesday Holding Fundraiser for WFCM

— If area residents eat a meal at a particular Chantilly restaurant next week, they can help feed hungry families in the local community. That’s because Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) and Ruby Tuesday are partnering to make it happen.

To help raise money for its programs that help local families in need, WFCM is participating in Ruby Tuesday’s Give Back community program. From Friday-Sunday, March 29-31, customers presenting a flyer to their server will have 20 percent of their purchase cost donated to WFCM. (The flyers may be printed from www.wfcmva.org).

The effort is called “Take a Bite out of Hunger,” and is being held at the Ruby Tuesday at 13915 Metrotech Drive in Chantilly. For directions to the restaurant or to view the menu, go to www.rubytuesday.com. To make reservations, call 703-818-3713.

“Many people continue to go hungry in our community, and many people need a little help to make ends meet,” said WFCM’s Community Outreach Manager Jennie Bush. “Financial support is vital to WFCM so that we can help those neediest in our community stay in their homes and feed their families.”

She said the organization can’t carry out its programs that aid others without the generosity of the local community. “We appreciate whatever size gift anyone is able to share,” said Bush. “By participating in ‘Take a Bite Out of Hunger’ at Ruby Tuesday’s Give Back nights, people are providing financial support for WFCM.”

In February, she said, WFCM served 332 families with food. Clients are able to shop at WFCM’s food pantry once a month, and Bush says that opportunity does more for them than just fill their stomachs. “We know we are helping a great deal because they can then use the money they would have spent on food for that week toward a utility bill, rent or even gas for their car so they can go to work,” she said.

Last year, WFCM’s food pantry received $589,801 of in-kind donations of non-perishable and perishable food. The value is calculated based on the IRS value for in-kind donations, which is $1.61 per pound. And these donations keep the pantry in business.

“Many people may not know that we accept perishable donations for our food pantry,” said Bush. “Our clients love to get fresh produce, and some of their favorites are apples, oranges, potatoes and broccoli. We used to have a grant for milk, eggs and meat but, unfortunately, those sources have been used. So we hope that, the next time area residents shop, they’ll also pick up a bag of produce to share with our pantry. Our clients would be so grateful.”

Meanwhile, she’s hoping for a large turnout at the Ruby Tuesday fundraiser. “Financial support is vital to Western Fairfax Christian Ministries to help our neighbors in need achieve financial stability,” said Bush. “We cannot administer our programs without community support, and we appreciate our community participating in this event.”

WFCM’s food pantry is at 13888 Metrotech Drive. Food donations are accepted Monday-Friday, 9-11 a.m. They should be brought to the rear of the building via the access road behind Papa John’s Pizza. For alternate donation times, contact Terri Kelly at tkelly@wfcmva.org.