Funds will establish three new Family Market Programs in Alexandria, Virginia

cafbThe J.O.Y. Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia made a $96,000 grant to fund three new Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) Family Market Programs for the 2017-2018 school year. The funds will help establish new Family Markets at three elementary schools in Alexandria, Virginia:  Brynn Mar Park Elementary School, Hybla Valley Elementary School, and Weyanoke Elementary School.

The J.O.Y. Charitable Fund supports education, job training, community improvement, the environment and organizations that further the work of nonprofits.

 The goal of the Family Market program is to help alleviate hunger throughout the CAFB service area through a monthly distribution of healthy and nutritious food to children and their families. Housed within schools, Family Markets educate and empower the families they serve.

“Our support of this program through donor advised fund grants truly address our mission – to grow philanthropy to respond to the most critical needs of the community. The Capital Area Food Bank is the backbone for the food distribution system in our service area,” says Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  “The new family markets will assist CAFB’s capacity to feed those who suffer from hunger in Northern Virginia, reaching some of the areas that need it the most,” said Ellsworth.

According to Alexandria City Public Schools, 58% of the Alexandria City Public School student population qualifies for free and reduced fee lunches.

The Family Markets combine food distribution with parent-teacher interactions and nutrition education. Each family takes between 28 and 30 pounds of non-perishable food and fresh produce during a market day. The families learn how to prepare their food through cooking demonstrations, receive recipe cards in Spanish and English, and are exposed to new and innovative technologies like a green smoothie bike to make the experience fun for all ages.

Community Foundation donors have funded the Capital Area Food Bank’s Manassas Family since 2014, helping more than 900 families each year gain access to nutritious food and health services with more than $100,000 in support provided.

“Our relationship with the Community Foundation began with the Manassas Park Family Market and has been a great resource to us. In addition to financial support, the Community Foundation also helps us connect with the community on issues of hunger and offering support and ideas on the replication of the program in other hunger hot spots in northern Virginia,” said Cecelia Vergaretti, Senior Director at Capital Area Food Bank of DC, Northern Virginia branch.