When a group of low-income seniors and children from throughout the region visited the Capital Area Food Bank the day before Thanksgiving, imagine their surprise and delight to find President and Mrs. Obama and members of their extended family packing and distributing bags filled with special holiday food.
This has truly been a special day for all of us. Thank you President and Mrs. Obama, Sasha and Malia, and your family and friends for volunteering today and helping us feed those in need. You have made this a memorable Thanksgiving by helping send a message on behalf of those struggling with hunger in these difficult times.
Our special guest volunteers packed food bags for three of our programs:
- Low-income seniors participating in the food bank’s Senior Brown Bag program are provided with monthly bags of food and educational information on nutrition at 71 area locations.
- Children who receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch during the week at school are also given nutritious bags of food from Weekend Bag program distribution sites.
- The Kids Cafe program serves 2,000 children in 60 locations in recreation, religious and community centers and schools throughout the region.
The bags are packed by our dedicated volunteers — 14,000 annually — at the food bank and delivered by food bank trucks to the partner agencies, or sites designed to serve children.
Today’s food recipients regularly participate in five of over 700 CAFB partner agencies in the Washington metro area:
- Brookland Manor Boys and Girls Club, Washington, DC;
- Faith Tabernacle of Prayer, Washington, DC;
- SEED, Inc., Riverdale, MD;
- Avondale/Manor Apartments, Hyattsville, MD;
- Queenstown, Mount Rainier, MD; and
- Shabach Emergency Resource & Empowerment Center, Landover, Md.
We are facing a hunger crisis in the region and throughout the nation. One in every two children in the nation’s capital is at risk of hunger – that’s 200,000 children in the region we serve – the District, Northern Virginia and Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland.
A recent survey of CAFB partner agencies revealed that they are experiencing a 10 to 75 percent increase in those they serve. Calls to the food bank’s Hunger Lifeline have increased 173 percent for July – September of this year from the same period in 2010.
I know how hard it is to enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving meal when there are those among us who are at risk of hunger throughout the year. Thank you for your support of the Capital Area Food Bank. You have my best wishes during the holidays.