HERO CENTRAL: AFAC Helps Put Food On The Table In Arlington

11:43 AM, Apr 29, 2013   |    comments
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  • Wayne Kent Davis

ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA 9) --- The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) provides supplemental groceries to residents in need.

The food pantry operates in the fifth wealthiest county in the nation, where the median household income is over $94,000, according to the U.S. Census.  

Wayne Kent Davis, 76, is retired. Once a wealthy man, Davis now faces circumstances that make it difficult to buy enough groceries to last through the week. So he visits AFAC.

"I look forward to coming here. Some people would feel ashamed but I don't because the people don't make you feel ashamed, they make you feel welcomed," Davis said.

The 25-year-old food pantry not only provides food to over 4,000 qualified residents, but it also strives to supply as much choice and variety of food as possible.

Charles Meng, the Executive Director of AFAC described the "Choice Model."

"By allowing families to choose, they'll choose those things that their family likes and needs. It also respects the dignity of the individual," he said.

AFAC receives a wealth of community support with 60 percent of its food supplies coming from donations.

"All families receive a dozen eggs, milk, chicken...and we're now serving about 1600 families [per week]," Meng said.  

Davis stated that one of his favorite parts about coming to AFAC is seeing all the volunteers.

"We basically have all age groups. We even have family night that allows parents to bring in very young kids to do bagging of groceries for us," Meng said.

Helen Hensgen not only volunteers, but she also brings produce from her home garden.

Meanwhile, Ronda Adgate said she found out about AFAC through her church.

"It's a way to just meet the needs of people and give them a place to go to where they are valued," Adgate said.

AFAC Wish List:  Flour, Sugar, Condiments, Vegetable oil

Note: The Gannett Foundation has provided a grant to AFAC.

Produced/Written by: Elizabeth Jia
WUSA 9 & WUSA9.com


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