Arlington Awards Food Security Mini-Grant to Community Organizations

Published on December 20, 2023

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The Arlington County Board announced the allocation of $150,000 in one-time food security mini-grants to community organizations. These organizations provide support for key initiatives within the County’s Food Security Strategic Plan, which was adopted in October 2022.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) coordinated the Notice of Funding Availability process and reviewed more than 39 grant proposals, eventually recommending that 10 local non-profits (see chart below) receive varying amounts of funding.

"These are called mini-grants, but they meet a major need," said DHS Director Anita Friedman. "The proposals we ultimately funded will meet our community’s need for vital, healthy food security resources and building awareness in creative ways. Food security is a complex problem that needs the innovative, hands-on solutions these groups provide."

The awardees and amounts they will receive:

AWARDEE  AMOUNT   DESCRIPTION
Bridges to Independence  $7,012 Purchase a freezer for the Bridges food pantry to be able to offer frozen vegetables, proteins, and prepared meals to clients.
Randolph Elementary School Food Pantry $9,000 Supplement Capital Area Food Bank offerings to provide more fresh produce and proteins at monthly school food distributions.
AHC, Inc.  $10,831 Provide rolling grocery carts to seniors, nutrition education and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) outreach and enrollment clinics at AHC properties.
Food For Neighbors  $12,500 Provide teen-friendly food to middle and high schools to support students in need and transition the program from grant funded to fully supported by community donations. Supports five APS schools.
Arlington Thrive  $13,350 Quarterly nutrition education events with cooking demonstrations, food assistance resource navigation and SNAP enrollment. Participants receive grocery gift cards to purchase ingredients to replicate meals at home and Breadcoin tokens which can be used as tender at local restaurants.
DC Food Project  $14,000 Set up Share Tables at 10 APS elementary and middle schools so students can leave unopened foods they are not eating for others to eat.
Kitchen of Purpose (formerly La Cocina)  $15,325 Expand Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsorship to 4 after-school programs in Arlington. CACFP reimburses 50% of the cost of afterschool meals for low-income students with federal funds.
Meals on Wheels of Arlington, Virginia  $19,334 Cover the cost of Meals on Wheels for homebound people under age 60 who are ineligible for Area Agency on Aging funding.
YMCA of Metropolitan Washington  $23,648
YMCA-VHC Outpatient Clinic partnership to serve 50 participants with diet-related chronic disease with diabetes prevention/management education, blood pressure monitors, and weekly produce boxes over a 12-week period.
The Salvation Army Arlington Corps  $25,000 Increase capacity by hiring a part-time staff person focused on food assistance programming, starting a delivery program for seniors, increasing food rescue, improving storage, and providing rolling carts and reusable bags to seniors.

 

Work around the broader issues of food security in the County began with an Urban Institute research report, "Improving Food Security and Access in Arlington County, Virginia," which surveyed 9,143 residents in key census tracts. Subsequent engagement activities were conducted through a Food Security Task Force, which surveyed community groups and individuals about food security issues to inform development of the Plan, and through the Food Security Coalition, which took over from the task force to implement the strategic plan.

The mini-grants review team included county residents, food security experts and county staff. All funds must be spent in FY 2024.

If you are in need food assistance, visit the County website for information and free resources.

Visit the Food Security Coalition webpage for information on how you can join.

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