No Child Goes Hungry (NCGH), a non-profit providing grant money and mentorship to community organizations that build hunger advocacy programs, has made a $1,000 donation to the Dulles South Food Pantry® (DSFP). The funds will be used to help support DSFP’s Backpack Buddies program at Hutchinson Farm Elementary School, which aims to help ensure kids have nutritious food on the weekend when schools are closed.
DSFP is a multi-faith food pantry that provides nutritious food, personal supplies, and other services to those in need in Dulles South and the surrounding area regardless of income, faith or other criteria and strives to promote self-sufficiency. In addition to the food that is provided to families, the DSFP also operates a Backpack Buddies Program. Fifteen local schools participate in this program, which gives supplemental food for the weekend to students who might otherwise go hungry. Each week, DSFP packs approximately 200 Backpack Buddies bags, 40 of which are sent to Hutchison Farm Elementary School.
At Hutchison and other schools in our area, food recovery programs are also in place to prevent nutritious, unexpired food from going into the landfill. Carts are set up in cafeterias to collect unopened and unused recyclable leftovers, such as juice boxes, fruit, fruit snacks, milk, cheese sticks, and other snacks. All perishable items are immediately placed in refrigerators. After school, the food is sorted by students, volunteers, and staff, and expiration dates are checked. The food is then delivered to the Dulles South Food pantry to be distributed to guests. In the 2018-2019 school year alone, DSFP local schools recovered 17,000 pounds of food. It is a wonderful synergistic operation that puts food in the hands of those who need it.
“We are pleased to provide funds to DSFP to help support the critical work they are doing in the Dulles South and surrounding areas,” said No Child Goes Hungry Director Kären Rasmussen. “DSFP is helping us to achieve our goal of ensuring that no child goes hungry. We are thrilled to have found another valuable partnership as we work toward of goal. Let’s feed some kids.”