Arlington Food Assistance Center Visits NCC
NCC is pleased to announce the launch of our partnership with the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), the second of three charities we are proud to officially support. Charlie Meng, executive director of AFAC, visited us recently to introduce us to the organization and its mission, and to remind us that, while it is sometimes easy to overlook the hardships experienced in our own our backyard, it is our responsibility as members of a greater community to step in and support those in need.
We at NCC are proud members of the community in which we live and work, and Mr. Meng’s presentation made each of us pause to think about the side of Arlington often forgotten: the hungry. Arlington may be one of the wealthiest cities in America, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have residents struggling to make ends meet. AFAC provides supplemental groceries to the unemployed, under-employed, and those on fixed incomes, serving over 1,400 families per week — which, Mr. Meng pointed out, means that there are more than 4,000 people in our community who can’t get all they need for their families.
AFAC is determined that those in need shouldn’t have to resort to the easy road of buying the cheapest (and therefore most unhealthy) foods, such as items from the fast food dollar menu, mass quantities of macaroni and cheese, or frozen meals. In contrast to many other food pantry set ups, AFAC makes the nutritious items more tempting by using the Choice Model, which means that families can choose what they bring home rather than receiving a predetermined package of food. People are more likely to eat foods they choose to take home — even cans of Cajun-style alligator meat have been known to fly off the shelves! Using this system, AFAC provides in one week what most food pantries provide in a month.
AFAC relies on sponsors including churches, schools, and businesses like NCC for 60 percent of its funding, and we are glad to be partners with an organization that providessuch a fundamental service respectfully and selflessly. We look forward to putting ourselves to work as volunteers for AFAC, whether it be bagging food, moving it, or distributing it; assisting with food drives; or helping out with administrative tasks. We encourage you to support them, too, whether it be by volunteering your time or donating food or money to be handed out to those who need it. Check out AFAC’s website for details on their related projects, including yard sales, cooking classes, and the Plot Against Hunger.