The NVFS Hunger Resource Center is Accepting Food Donations to Meet the Anticipated Demand
OAKTON, VA (March 10, 2023) – Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) is preparing for a dramatic increase in residents seeking food assistance as SNAP Emergency Allotment benefits end this month. The termination of additional benefits will affect approximately 213,000 Northern VA residents who qualified.
“While the SNAP Emergency Allotment benefits provided relief to hundreds of thousands of residents during the pandemic, now that it has come to an end, the reality is that food insecurity is still a major issue for many Northern Virginia households,” said Stephanie Berkowitz, President and CEO. “These residents will truly feel the impact in the days ahead when they will no longer get that second payment, which will force them to make difficult financial choices between food and other life necessities like medicine, rent, or electricity. This reduction, coupled with the increase in food prices due to inflation, exacerbates food insecurity worry for households across the state.”
According to the Agriculture Department, which administers the food stamp program, during the pandemic, each recipient received a monthly average of $251. However, that is expected to decline by about a third, or $82, this month with the recently announced reduction in benefits. The decrease in food stamps and increased food prices will create a surge of recipients seeking assistance from food banks and organizations, like NVFS’ Hunger Resource Center (HRC).
Specifically, the HRC annually provides healthy and nutritious food on-site to nearly 5,000 residents from more than 1,300 families living in the Greater Prince William community. Unfortunately, many of its clients have to choose between putting food on the table or paying their household bills. The HRC helps families avoid this difficult choice — and stave off the perils of homelessness. Each year, the organization receives approximately 2 million pounds of donated food valued at nearly $3 million.
Additionally, NVFS addresses food insecurity by providing meals and resources for hundreds of families through a variety of its programs:
- NVFS provides three meals a day to families in its SERVE Family Shelter in Manassas, which is Northern Virginia’s largest family homeless shelter.
- Through its Early Head Start Centers, meals and snacks are provided to hundreds of children a day and also to ensure an adequate food supply over the weekend.
- Through its Information & Referral services and other programs at NVFS, most notably its Early Childhood Education, the organization helps families register for SNAP, WIC, and other publicly available benefits.
- Food distribution and other resources, such as diapers, are provided to clients at NVFS’ Multicultural Center and Training Futures programs.
- Grocery gift cards are regularly distributed as a part of community drives and other interactions as well.
“Food insecurity will remain a constant until all households in Northern Virginia have adequate resources to pay for all of their household needs,” added Berkowitz. “Until then, we ask our community of individual, corporate and community leaders to support us in stocking shelves at our HRC by donating non-perishable food items, and high-need basic necessities.”
For more information and drop-off locations, visit www.nvfs.org.
About Northern Virginia Family Service
Northern Virginia Family Service’s (NVFS) breadth, depth and scope of services offer the resources and support to ensure that everyone in need, at every stage of life, maximizes their potential and fully contributes to a thriving community. We provide the essential building blocks for financial, emotional and physical well-being, serving as leaders and innovators for the Northern Virginia community. Every year, we empower more than 30,000 individuals to achieve self-sufficiency. With these essential resources, our community is better equipped for future success and engagement among all of our neighbors.
Sinikka Mondini, for Northern Virginia Family Service