Food Security Task Force

What is the Food Security Task Force?

A 2018 report from Feeding America estimated that 6.7% of Arlingtonians don’t have enough food to sufficiently feed their families each month. Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, that number increased drastically. There are many organizations and individuals doing great work to help close that gap, but the need persists. The Food Security Task Force is a group of community stakeholders working together to improve the food security system and infrastructure in Arlington. The group will work together for 12-18 months to develop a food security strategic plan that will address many of the challenges that families face in accessing the food assistance they need.

Vision: A community where all have enough healthy food to feed themselves and their families.

Mission: To create an interconnected food security system in Arlington that works together to meet its residents’ need to feed themselves and their families, healthy and culturally appropriate food, in an affordable and dignified manner. 


The task force is made up of 28 members who represent various stakeholders in Arlington’s food security infrastructure, including non-profit, faith-based, and school-based food providers; population representatives; business partners; and community members.  The task force will be led by Stephanie Hopkins, Food Security Coordinator at the Department of Human Services. Matt de Ferranti is the County Board Liaison. 

Food Security Task Force Members

  • Robin Broder, Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture
  • Wendy Carria, Arlington Public Schools
  • Rachel Coates, DHS, Arlington Aging and Disability Services Division
  • Lawrence Collins, Community Member
  • Susan Davidson, AHC
  • Lily Duran, Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC)
  • Matt de Ferranti, Arlington County Board
  • Sally Diaz Wells, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church
  • Tracy Gaither, Arlington Public Schools
  • Kim Haun, Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Stephanie Hopkins, DHS, Economic Independence Division
  • Cassie Hurley, Arlington Chamber of Commerce
  • Daniela Hurtado, La Cocina VA
  • Laura Elsberg, Arlington Free Clinic
  • Amy McWilliams, Columbia Pike Partnership
  • Charlie Meng, Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC)
  • Natalia Muniz, Arlington Community Foundation
  • Marvin Nells, NAACP of Arlington
  • Mary Porter, Real Food for Kids
  • Abby Raphael, Destination 2027
  • Pat Rivers, DHS, Economic Independence Division
  • Aisha Salazar, Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • Mary Sanders, Healthy Community Action Team
  • Cynthia Singiser, Capital Area Food Bank
  • Bethany Zecher Sutton, Randolph Elementary School PTA
  • Violet Taylor, Community Member
  • Janeth Valenzuela, Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Student Concerns


Key Stages of Work

  • Analysis of current situation & available data
  • Identification of preliminary strategies & actions
  • Needs assessment & analysis
  • Final decisions on strategies & actions
  • Creation of sub-committees to push the work forward
  • Develop final report & present to county board for adoption