The Arlington Food Assistance Center is asking residents to take the “food challenge” of trying to eat on $4.03 a day in Arlington County as part of Hunger Action Month in September.
“A lot of people think Arlington is such an affluent county that they don’t know there are people who need some extra help,” said Mona Bormet, outreach manager at the center.
The food bank, with its headquarters located near Shirlington at 2708 S. Nelson St., distributes food to 1,600 families a week. During Hunger Action Month, area residents are encouraged to take the food challenge and participate in several fundraising events in Clarendon.
The $4 a day figure stems from the average amount given out to those receiving benefits from food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to the Food Research & Action Center.
“With the cost of living, housing, and paying your bill our clients are left with very little left for food,” Bormet said.
On Thursday afternoon, Anjelica Hernandez came to collect food at the center. She said that though she works at a hotel twice a week, the money she makes does not allow for enough to buy food for herself and her son.
“It’s very difficult,” Hernandez, who has been to the center twice said. “This is a big help.”
In addition to the hunger challenge, the organization is hosting events around Clarendon and greater Arlington county:
- From Sept. 8 through Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., food donations can be made at local Safeway stores Sign up to volunteer via AFAC’s online calendar.
- On Sept.17 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Pete's Apizza on 3017 Clarendon Blvd. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will be donated to AFAC.
- Sept. 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Screwtop Wine Bar & Cheese Shop, 1025 N. Fillmore St. Sample 10 wines and cheeses for $15.99. All proceeds will be donated to AFAC. For more information and to purchase your ticket(s), please visit Screwtop's website.
- Sept. 20 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Mug Night at Whitlow's on Wilson on 2854 Wilson Blvd., with AFAC's Young Professionals.
- Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29. AFAC goes gleaning every Saturday to farms that let AFAC harvest and collect fresh produce for clients. Sign up to volunteer via AFAC's online calendar.
- Organize a food drive for AFAC. Posters and bins available. More information on AFAC's food drive Web page!
- Donated online via the Virtual Food Drive or fill the food drive bins at Arlington public libraries with non-perishable food items.