ully District Police Department, November 2014: PFC Tara Gerhard, Sully District Police Station food drive coordinator, and another officer deliver food to WFCM’s pantry after sponsoring 30 families for Thanksgiving in 2014.
Western Fairfax Christian Ministries’ (WFCM) Holiday Food Program helps those in need in Western Fairfax County with food for the holidays.
Even though Northern Virginia is considered one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country, more than 64,000 men, women, and children in Fairfax County live in poverty. One in four children attending Fairfax County Public Schools is on the free and reduced lunch program. In some schools, half of all students qualify. Many children are hungry during the weekends and over holiday breaks.
Many local families will receive Thanksgiving or Christmas food as recipients of WFCM’s Holiday Food Program. WFCM — serving those in need in Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Fair Oaks and Fairfax Station — is expecting to provide over 2,000 families this year with holiday food assistance either with a holiday food gift basket or a grocery store gift card to purchase food for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.
Jennie Bush, WFCM’s community outreach manager, explained that she has reached out to community organizations and churches to aid in providing holiday food for families in need. The Sully District Police Department and Westfields Marriott are holding food drives, assembling food boxes, and delivering to families they’ve sponsored for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Each year, the Clifton Lions sponsor families for both holidays. Support has also come from Chantilly High School Student Government Association and the Cheer Team. The Knights of Columbus, St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, donates over 200 turkeys and boxes of food to WFCM. Also, a few travel soccer teams from Southwest Youth Association (SYA) and local Girl Scout Troops will sponsor families in need.
WFCM is looking for additional family sponsors. If someone can sponsor a family with a food basket, Bush will match them up with a recipient. The donors would shop for the items for a holiday meal and put together the basket(s) or food boxes themselves, and she’ll give them a list of suggested items to include. Then, the sponsor delivers the food and turkey (or other meat) to the family. For those unable to provide an entire holiday meal, or who just don’t have the time to go shopping, they can still help out by contributing grocery store gift cards in $25, $30, or $50 amounts so families who aren’t sponsored may purchase their own holiday meals.
To sponsor a family or families for holiday food, contact Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. See WFCM’S web site, www.wfcmva.org, to obtain a list of suggested food to include in the food assistance.
Grocery store gift cards may be dropped off at the WFCM food pantry at 13888 Metrotech Drive in Chantilly (next to PetSmart and Papa John’s), Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (No cash donations). Mail grocery store gift cards with a note saying “Holiday Food Program” to: WFCM, P.O. Box 220802, Chantilly, VA 20153.