PLATINUM2024

Arlington Food Assistance Center

Feeding Our Neighbors in Need

aka AFAC   |   Arlington, VA   |  www.afac.org

Mission

AFAC is an independent, community-based non-profit food pantry that provides dignified access to nutritious supplemental groceries to all our Arlington neighbors in need. In doing so, AFAC makes it possible for vulnerable families in our community to devote their limited resources to financial obligations such as housing, utilities, and other basic needs.

Ruling year info

1989

Principal Officer

Charles Meng

Main address

PO Box 6261

Arlington, VA 22206 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

54-1473207

NTEE code info

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

AFAC addresses the issue of food insecurity in Arlington, VA by providing supplemental groceries, free of charge, to families in need.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Food Distribution

AFAC provides Arlington residents dignified access to nutritious, supplemental groceries - free of charge. Families can receive food once a week. A great number of the individuals served are disabled, the elderly, and young children.

Any family or individual needing food assistance may visit AFAC for the first time without a referral. They are given food as well as information on how to continue receiving services by obtaining a referral from a preferred peer agency. 

In addition to our main facility, AFAC has distribution sites at community centers, senior living facilities, and churches so families can pick up food from a more convenient location.

About 40% of the food distributed comes from donations. The rest is purchased in bulk through vendors to ensure families get food that is the quality you expect at your local grocery store. Each family is given approximately 30 pounds of groceries each week including fresh produce, chicken, eggs, rice, pasta, oatmeal, and a variety of canned goods.

Population(s) Served
Working poor
Low-income people

Seniors Outreach is AFAC’s hunger action program that distributes nutritional food supplies to our elderly clients. In FY10, the Arlington County Agency on Aging reported to AFAC that food insecurity was a growing problem among the elderly in Arlington County. Many aging individuals and families are living on limited and fixed incomes. Often when faced with a strained budget and the need to pay bills, buy gasoline, or purchase prescription drugs, the elderly attempt to cut expenses by cutting back on food.  In addition, research revealed that the elderly tend to buy food that is inexpensive, filling, but rarely supportive of a healthy diet. In response to the Agency’s findings, AFAC took the initiative to set up distribution networks at the five low-income senior-living facilities in Arlington County.  Food provided to residents there may include low-sugar and low-sodium products, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, chicken, and milk. By providing this service, elderly families are able to maintain their housing, address their budget needs, and feed themselves well.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
Economically disadvantaged people

AFAC’s Backpack Buddies program provides food for Arlington County’s public school children who face food insecurity and do not know where their next meal may come from. A number of these kids are homeless or have unstable home environments. For many of these children, school provided meals are their only guaranteed meals. Over weekends or holiday breaks, these children often go with little to no food. On Fridays at their school, each child in the Backpack Buddies program is given a backpack filled with nourishment for the weekend. Items usually distributed in the backpacks are healthy food and snacks that kids can easily prepare themselves. Children and families who benefit from the Backpack Buddies program are able to spend more quality time at the table and less time worrying about where to find their next healthy meal.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Food Distribution

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the unduplicated number of individuals served by fiscal year.

Number of families served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Related Program

Food Distribution

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is the unduplicated number of families served by fiscal year.

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Food Distribution

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of volunteer hours recorded by fiscal year.

Total pounds of food rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Food Distribution

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Pounds of food distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Food Distribution

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

AFAC is an independent, community-based non-profit food pantry that provides dignified access to nutritious supplemental groceries to all our Arlington neighbors in need.

AFAC's overarching goals are to:

• Provide a diverse selection of nutritious food to all Arlington families in need;
• Ensure the dignity of the families who come to us;
• Act as good stewards of the funds, resources, and time donated to us to further our cause;
• Collaborate with peer agencies to most efficiently serve our community; and
• Make positive impacts on the overall health and wellness of our community.

AFAC currently distributes food to our neighbors in need in the following ways:

General Distribution is an essential part of AFAC's services. We help the families who rely on us in a manner that respects their human dignity without making judgments about how they have come to need our assistance. AFAC distributes food on the Choice Model, encouraging families to “shop" our shelves for food that is nutritious and culturally-relevant. This Choice Model is a best-practice in the field, as it reduces waste and saves expenses.

The families in our care can “shop" AFAC once each week, taking home approximately 40 pounds of groceries each visit, including milk, eggs, fish, chicken, fresh produce, bread, beans, rice, and oatmeal. AFAC strives to provide the healthy staples necessary to keep a nutritious diet—those items that often get cut from grocery lists when budgets are tight. Most especially, we are dedicated to enabling clients' access to fresh produce. To that end, AFAC conducts cooking demonstrations in the client waiting room during weekday food distribution times. The goal of the demonstrations is to show families how to prepare fresh fruit and vegetables that may be unfamiliar to our client families. Examples include spaghetti and acorn squash, eggplant, bok choy, and kale. We provide tasting samples, and distribute recipes in both English and Spanish.

Seniors Outreach is AFAC's hunger action program that distributes nutritious food supplies to our elderly clients. We at AFAC recognized that many elders in our community were struggling against hunger, but lacked the transportation and mobility to visit our regular distribution sites. So, in coordination with the Agency on Aging & Disability, we have organized distributions in the community rooms at all five low-income senior-living facilities in Arlington County.

AFAC's Backpack Buddies program provides food for Arlington County's public school children who are homeless, in unstable home environments, or are identified as high-risk for food insecurity by their school social worker or principal. On Fridays at their school, each Backpack Buddies child is given a meal pack with enough food for the weekend, including low-sodium soups and pasta, granola bars, cereal, shelf-stable milk, juice, and fresh fruit.

Food for Peers helps us collaborate with our peer human service agencies to make sure that their clients remain fed and prepared for progress. Partners in Food for Peers include the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, the Arlington Housing Corporation, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Arlington Assembly of God, Doorways for Women and Families, the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Emergency Food Kits are food supplies provided by AFAC, packaged by local ecumenical groups, and stored at the Arlington Department of Human Services (DHS) for immediate use.

AFAC works diligently to alleviate day-to-day hunger in Arlington. We know there are long-term strategies that can eradicate food insecurity in our community, and we are eager to play an active role in that solution. But as a best practice, we avoid diverting our limited resources to duplicating services already at work here in Arlington. So we help address the systemic issues of poor nutrition, limited food access, household budget concerns, and underemployment by partnering with the Arlington Department of Human Services (DHS). Each new family that visits AFAC is given instructions and contact information for DHS so that they may begin their broader journey to food security and self-sufficiency. All DHS information is on-hand in both English and Spanish. Other translations are developed and disbursed as needed. Collaborating with Arlington DHS means that the families in our care receive all of the help they need to achieve health and independence, without AFAC departing from what we do best—distributing food to those Arlington residents who need it most.

Last fiscal year, we responded to a total of 117,703 family visits during which we distributed well over 3.5 million pounds of food. After serving our community for the past 30 years, we reached our 1,000,000th family visit last year.

In the spring of 2018, we completed a comprehensive renovation of our facility. The renovations added new and greatly expanded client waiting and distribution spaces, built a new food preparation space, integrated fully ADA compliant accessibility features and added a canopy to shelter clients who line up to wait for distribution during inclement weather. With increased storage space, we can now purchase/store greater quantities of food, thereby gaining high volume discounts on bulk purchases such as milk and eggs. Our refrigerated spaces have doubled in size and will allow us to maintain all of our foods at the proper temperature from receipt directly through to distribution.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Arlington Food Assistance Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Arlington Food Assistance Center

Board of directors
as of 05/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jeffrey Bollman


Board co-chair

Ms Erica Beardsley

Jeffrey Bollman

Jason Ruggerio

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/29/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/29/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.