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Complete the Circle Oct. 27

Our Daily Bread hosting food and toiletries collections, community event.

Our Daily Bread Development Manager Jennifer Rose, 40, with Food Manager Chris Garris, 50.

Our Daily Bread Development Manager Jennifer Rose, 40, with Food Manager Chris Garris, 50. Photo by Steve Hibbard.

Our Daily Bread in Fairfax is hosting its third-annual “Complete the Circle” food-collection campaign and community event on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Fairfax High School practice field.

“We’d like to raise 10,000 pounds of food,” said Jennifer Rose, 40, development manager with Our Daily Bread.

Some 28 different groups will be participating as teams, including local Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and church groups. Already, 600 people have signed up for this year. Organizers are asking that people bring $10-$20 food gift cards, non-perishable food, canned goods and toiletries, which will be distributed to needy families through Food for Others food bank, serving the entire county.

During the afternoon, hundreds of volunteers will gather for a “living picture,” photographed from high above by Daniel Dancer of “Art for the Sky” at the field at Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax. The outer part of the circle will be comprised of food donations.

“I’m excited about completing the circle because it raises awareness about food insecurity in the most affluent of counties in the country,” said Rose, who commutes from Warrenton.

The cost is $5 to participate and includes a T-shirt. The event includes pizza by Donatos Pizza, Whole Foods goodies and drinks. Entertainment will be provided by the children’s band, School of Rock, with face painting and fun activities geared towards children. Corporate sponsors include: Apple Federal Credit Union, Virginia Heritage Bank and Bowman Consulting.

Non-perishables Needed

Canned sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, beans (pinto, kidney, black, etc.), chili, canned fruit, spaghetti sauce, mashed potatoes, cereal, crackers, pasta, rice, mac & cheese, peanut butter, canned meats.

In the first year, 700 people attended, bringing 2,500 pounds of food. In the second year, 700 people attended, bringing 4,800 pounds of food; and contributing $5,000.

“Complete the Circle is a way to bring the community together to help fight hunger by hosting food donations, food gift cards and toiletries,” said Chris Garris, food manager of ODB. “We started a program called ‘Food Bridge,’ and are trying to help clients become more self-sufficient by offering food gift cards because they can make their own choices."

The program targets 60 families undergoing financial hardships by offering food, toiletries and gift cards for four months. In 2012, ODB provided food assistance to 287 families for four months.

Toiletries Needed

Needed toiletries can be cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, dish detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, baby wipes, shampoo, toothpaste and tooth brushes, soap and deodorant.

The families can stay with the program for six months if they are mentored by ODB volunteers, and nine months with “Project Bridge” to help them get back on their feet again. After they complete the program, new families are rotated in the system.

According to a June 11 study by “Feeding America,” there are more than 76,000 people in affluent Fairfax County who are “food insecure,” meaning they do not know where their next meal will be coming from.

To participate, visit the website: www.odbfairfax.org or contact Jennifer Rose at develop@ODBFairfax.org, or 703-273-8829. For Food for Others sponsorship information, contact Jessica Cogen at JCogen@foodforothers.org or call 703-207-9173.