CAFB at 30: Hunger, History and Hope - Capital Area Food Bank
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CAFB at 30: Hunger, History and Hope

By Lynn Brantley January 14, 2010

First, we’d like to send our heartfelt prayers to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.  We are deeply saddened by the disaster and are looking into ways that we might be of assistance.
This year, the Capital Area Food Bank will commemorate 30 years of service to Washington metro area.  As we enter another year and another decade, I say “thank you” to our generous supporters. Whether you volunteered, donated funds, donated food, attended an event or even just wished us well, we appreciate you.
It’s hard to believe that when we started the food bank on January 15, 1980 our services would be in even greater demand 30 years later.  Even before this current economic crisis hit, our partner agencies were seeing increased need.  Now they are reporting increases up to 200 percent!  We were receiving more calls to our Hunger Lifeline, an emergency food referral system, before the economic downturn – and now those calls are up 91 percent.  We are indeed in the midst of difficult times.

But the food bank is committed to serving those in need no matter how long it takes.  Over the years we’ve distributed over $500 million worth of food into the community, but we realize that addressing hunger takes more than simply providing food. The CAFB has grown to offer a wide range of nutrition education courses, Food Stamp (now called SNAP) outreach, cooking classes, gardening skills and so much more.  Yet, it’s not enough.  We need you, our supporters, to continue helping. We invite you get involved and engage your friends and families in the issue of hunger.  How? You can hold a food drive, hold a fundraiser, volunteer in our warehouse, attend our upcoming Hunger Policy Forum on Jan. 15, teach a cooking class, tour our warehouse, write about the food bank in your blog or even tweet about us.  Let everyone know that hunger is unacceptable.
Nourishing the thousands of families, seniors, children and individuals suffering from hunger in our area takes more than the food bank – it takes the entire community.  So as we move into 2010 let us come together to ensure that the most basic human right – food – is guaranteed to all.
P.S. My colleague, Joel Berg, executive director of the New York Coalition Against Hunger, recently wrote an important letter to President Obama.  His ideas are relevant, insightful and offer concrete solutions to addressing hunger. I invite you to read it here and share it with others.