Food Assistance & Free Food Resources

If you need help getting food, call 703-228-1300.

Page Contents

Food Pantries

Can't afford all of the groceries your family needs? Food pantries distribute free food that can help you stretch your budget. Check this map to find a food pantry near you. The  Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) provides milk, eggs, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables and more each week.

AFAC referrals last for 6 months and give you access to free weekly groceries. At the end of 6 months, call your case worker to renew.

• Go in person to the Department of Human Services, Customer Service Center (2100 Washington Blvd., first floor, 22204) Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. For more information, call DHS at 703-228-1300.

• If you are 60 or older, call the Dept. of Human Services, Arlington Area Agency on Aging at 703-228-1700, or

• If you have a child at the Arlington Public Schools, call your school’s social worker.


This flyer (in English & Spanish) lists all food pantries in Arlington open to all including AFAC, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Salvation Army, and Arlington Bridge Builders. 

Food assistance flyer is available in various languages: አማርኛ (Amharic)(PDF, 245KB), Монгол (Mongolian)(PDF, 173KB)Русский (Russian)(PDF, 167KB)Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)(PDF, 177KB), عربى (Arabic)(PDF, 287KB), درى (Dari),  اردو (Urdu)(PDF, 336KB) , ትግሪኛ (Tigrinya)(PDF, 235KB) , 한국인 (Korean)(PDF, 464KB)

Some food distributions occur once a month. View this list to see the specific dates of these distributions in 2024.

Kids & Families

Arlington Public Schools serve breakfast and lunch for a modest cost and free to those students who are income-eligible. All students attending Abingdon, Barcroft, Barrett, Carlin Springs, Drew, and Randolph Elementary Schools and Kenmore Middle School receive free breakfast and lunch because they participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program.

Families with children at all other schools should complete the free meals application to see if they qualify. Apply on MySchoolApps. Families enrolled in SNAP, WIC, TANF, and some who receive Medicaid are automatically eligible. Receiving free school meals provides discounts for other services, including discounts for sports programs. Talk to your school's social worker for connections to other resources. For more information about school meals, visit APS Food & Nutrition Services

Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC) provides nutrition support to pregnant women and new moms, babies and children under age 5. WIC peer counselors give support to breastfeeding moms and WIC provides baby formula to those not breastfeeding.

Older Adults

The DHS Aging and Disability Services Resource Center can provide information and get you signed up for any of the resources listed below. Call 703-228-1700.

The Social 60+ Cafe offers free lunch and socialization for Arlingtonians over age 60 regardless of income. Locations available at Langston-Brown, Arlington Mill, and Walter Reed Community Centers. Call 703-228-4747 to register.

The Senior Farmer's Market Nutrition Program provides $50 of coupons to spend at the Farmer's Market each year (June - November) for those with low incomes. Apply here or call 703-228-1700 for more information.

Meals on Wheels provides meals to older adults who are unable to prepare their own food. Call 703-228-1700 for more information.

The Senior Brown Bag Program with Capital Area Food Bank offers a monthly bag of food to older adults living at The Shelton, Harvey Hall, Hunter's Park, Colonial Village West, and Lockwood Elmwood House Apartments. Contact the resident services coordinator to enroll.

Arlington Neighborhood Village supports older adults in completing tasks including grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions. Call 703-509-8057 to learn more. 


Assembly of God Church serves dinner Monday through Friday from 5 - 6:30 PM and is located at 4501 N. Pershing Dr., Arlington, VA 22204. Call 703-524-1667 with any questions.

Christ House in Alexandria serves dinner daily. Those interested should arrive between 4:30 and 5:30pm to receive a meal. Christ House is located at 131 S West St., Alexandria, VA  22314.

Stretching Your Money

Double your money when you use SNAP at Farmer's Markets.

SHARE Food Network provides a value package of produce and meats for $25 each month with a retail value of $45. Order your package through Macedonia Baptist Church at 703-521-7663 or Lomax AME Zion Church at 703-979-3738 and pick up monthly in Green Valley.

FreshFarm is offering a weekly bag of produce for $8 for those who pay using SNAP or WIC. Pick up weekly in spring, summer, and fall at the Courthouse Farmer's Market.

Virginia Cooperative Extension offers classes about financial management, cooking demonstrations, healthy eating on a budget, and growing your own food. 

Apply for Benefits

Virginia's CommonHelp website allows you to apply for SNAP, TANF, health coverage, child care assistance, and other benefits online. You can also call the Virginia Department of Social Services Call Center at 855-635-4370 to apply over the phone.

Use this SNAP Calculator to see if you may be eligible to receive SNAP (food stamps).

Virginia's WIC application is online and includes a screening to see if you're eligible.  You can call 703-228-1260 for more information.

DHS offers in-person application assistance at the Human Services Center, 2100 Washington Blvd. Call 703-228-1300 to set up an appointment.

Health & Nutrition

Eat Smart Move More gives tips for making healthy choices, including recipes.

MyPlate helps you plan meals to give your body the nutrients it needs.

Food Security Task Force

The Food Security Task Force was a group of community stakeholders who worked together in 2021-22 to develop a Food Security Strategic Plan to improve the food security system in Arlington. View the Strategic Plan here. 

Visit the Food Security Task Force's webpage for information about food security news, data, and more information.

Food Security Coalition

Arlington’s Food Security Coalition oversees the implementation of the Food Security Strategic Plan that was developed in 2022 and serves as a meeting point to coordinate, collaborate and share information about food security activities occurring in the county. Participation is open to all. Meetings are on Zoom and are generally held on the 4th Monday of each month at 1pm. Complete this registration form to join.


Need additional help with Housing, Healthcare, and more?

The Department of Human Services offers a number of assistance programs for Arlington residents. To learn more, call us at 703-228-1350 or visit us at 2100 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22204.

Return to our Main Public Assistance Page