September 16, 2015
Capital Area Food Bank

J.O.Y. Charitable Fund Grants $32,000 to Capital Area Food Bank's Family Market Program

The J.O.Y. Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia made a grant of $32,000 to fully support the Capital Area Food Bank’s (CAFB) Family Market Program at Manassas Park High School for the 2015-2016 school year. This grant will provide 6,000 pounds of food to over 200 families 9 times per year, in a community where 51% are on free and reduced lunches through the school.

The Capital Area Food Bank uses a “Family Market” model that combines 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. Next year, the Capital Area Food Bank plans to add pop-up grocery stores to educate families on how to navigate stores and read nutritional labels.

The first Family Market will be held Thursday, September 24, with monthly markets scheduled through the school year.

“The Family Market program is the best way to get nutritious produce and pantry items into the homes of families with school aged children. Family Markets operate under a client choice model, in which children and their families select their own food,” said Cecelia Vegaretti, CAFB Director of Northern Virginia. “The program also encourages dialogue between educators and parents. We are so glad to be able to partner with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and receive funding from the J.O.Y. Fund to continue this program at Manassas Park High School.”

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s support of this program through this donor advised fund grant truly addresses its mission – to grow philanthropy to help meet 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. “Our partnership will help build the CAFB’s capacity to feed those who suffer from hunger in Northern Virginia, particularly those residing in the Manassas Park community.”

The J.O.Y. Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia supports education, job training, community improvement, the environment and organizations that further the work of nonprofits.