Loudoun food pantries reach out to all areas of county

From Round Hill to Sterling Park; from Loudoun Heights to South Riding; local food pantries reach out to touch needy families in all four corners of Loudoun County.

Donations to all food pantries typically decrease during the summer months. However, hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation and many students who would otherwise eat breakfast and lunch at school may no longer have access to those meals during the summer.

See Leesburg Patch for more information.

Six Tips for a Successful Food Drive

Have you been thinking about hosting a food drive? The Pantry relies greatly on food drives to help replenish our stores. Food drives are held by many of our local organizations and neighbors, including businesses, schools, churches, civic organizations, social clubs, HOAs, and scouting troops like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and American Heritage Girls. These local Pantry supporters truly exemplify our motto of Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, and, with their help, we are able to ensure that much needed food is always available to our neighbors in need.

So what is a food drive? It’s a donation drive in which organizers simply request and collect donations of non-perishable food to give to the Pantry. It can be in the form of a collection bin that sits at a location over a specific period of time or it can be a one-time event in which volunteers actively ask for and collect donations. Read below for six tips that will help you organize a successful food drive. Continue reading

Community Faith Supporters Contribute Significantly to Pantry’s Goals

As described in our Mission Statement, the Pantry is a non-denominational, multi-faith organization, and we support our Dulles South neighbors in need, regardless of faith, income, or other criteriavirginia-stake. The support and partnership of many of our community’s faith-based organizations enable the Pantry’s volunteers to successfully do what we do, whether through direct donations by their congregations or through a variety of volunteer services, such as helping with food distributions, organizing events, packing Friday Food packs, or shuttling guests. As we kick off a new year at the Pantry, it is so important to us to recognize the good works of our Faith Supporters, who contribute significantly to our mission to feed our hungry neighbors. Here are a few highlights of the many things they do:Continue reading

Pantry’s Friday Food Packs Program Helps LCPS Students in Need

friday-food-packThe Dulles South Food Pantry is pleased to announce that we have expanded our Friday Food Packs program this year. Our Friday Food Packs program supports students attending LCPS schools in Dulles South by providing them with small food packs for the weekend. Dedicated volunteers sort and pack bags weekly, which are then delivered to the schools that request them. The food packs are small, easy to carry and generally have individual serving sized food and easy to heat food, such as mac n cheese, fruit cups, and juice. Some of the food that is used in the Friday Food Packs program is obtained through the Food Recovery program at other LCPS schools. However, the pantry still relies greatly on donations from the community to fund for and provide food for this program.Continue reading

Starbucks Employees Take Action to Reduce Waste and Feed the Hungry

Various Bread DonationsThe employees at the Starbucks in the Eastgate Shopping Center in South Riding Virginia aren’t just serving up Grande Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiatos, they are serving up a helping hand to the local community. Every Wednesday morning, volunteers from the Dulles South Food Pantry stop by there to pick up fresh bakery items to distribute to Pantry guests later that day.

Since the program began four months ago, Starbucks has donated over eighty pounds of food to the Pantry. The items being donated range from bagels to banana bread to croissants. “These are a real treat for our guests. People struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table appreciate having fresh baked goods in addition to the canned food normally distributed by the Pantry”, explains Charlene Jones, Pantry President.Continue reading

It Takes The Whole Community to Make This Work

Mike Donaldson, host of At Loudoun Podcast Magazine, interviewed Pantry President Charlene Jones in September 2016. To listen to the podcast, go to At Loudoun’s website. Listen on your way to work or when you have some extra time. It is a great summary of how the Pantry started, who the Pantry helps, why the Pantry is important to the community and how you can get involved. There are so many different people, businesses, and organizations that are helping to run the pantry. “It takes the whole community to make this work”, President Jones explains. This is a great reminder to all of us why we need to help in our community. To paraphrase what host Donaldson says, “If you aren’t motivated to help after listening to this podcast, then you probably should stop listening.” This is a must listen to for all of our current volunteers or prospective volunteers, as a reminder of the pantry’s mission and the importance of serving the community.Continue reading

Buffalo Trail Elementary School “Weighs In” on Food Recovery

lunch-thiefThis past school year, the students and leaders of the Buffalo Trail Elementary School CASA after school program began a lunch time food harvest. Their goal: to recover more pounds in food than the body weight of the all the CASA students combined. This was no small task as the students, led by CASA Supervisor, Susan McClanahan, weighed approximately 3,030 pounds.

McClanahan explained that the CASA leadership was inspired and encouraged by school staff and the Buffalo Trail parent liaison to implement a food recovery program. McClanahan and fellow CASA leaders, Lisa Butler and Marine Lazareva, went to work to achieve the goal. They began by inspiring kids with a book called The Lunch Thief, by Anne C. Bromley. The book tells the story of a new kid at school that is stealing food from lunches. The book’s main character determines that the thief is living with his family in a hotel and has lost his home in a wildfire. That knowledge changes how he feels about the thief and they begin a friendship. The CASA students discussed the book and reasons why people might not have enough food. They also discussed ways that they could help people in need.Continue reading