How We Work

The Capital Area Food Bank provides meals to 12 percent of the Washington metro area population – that’s 540,000 of our region’s mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and grandparents. We work with our network of 444 food assistance partners to provide food and nutrition education to our neighbors in need. Learn more about how to become a food assistance partner.

We also work directly in the community through our selection of specialized, direct distribution programs. Scroll down to learn more about these programs.

How We Work

Direct Distribution Programs


Every month, the Capital Area Food Bank hosts several direct distributions out in the community at community centers and schools within DC, Maryland and Virginia. Volunteers will assist in the distribution of fresh produce and non-perishable food to clients. Some locations include the Langley Park Distribution Center, Arlington Direct Distribution Center, Ambassador Baptist Church, and several schools. These distribution volunteer opportunities can be found on select days our calendar. Head on over to our volunteer portal to review the calendar of opportunities.



Weekend Bags

We provide weekly, kid-friendly bags of groceries for children to ensure they have enough to eat when not at school.
Mobile Food Program

In partnership with Shoppers, we provide healthy lunches during the summer to children in hard to reach neighborhoods via a customized bus.
Kids Summer Meals Program

We provide healthy meals and snacks in the summer at sites that include faith-based organizations, camps, and recreation centers.
Kids After School Meals Program

We provide free, healthy meals and snacks to students attending after school enrichment programs.


Senior Brown Bag

We provide income-qualified seniors with a bag of groceries each month, along with recipes and nutrition education materials.
Grocery Plus

We provide eligible DC seniors with a bag of healthy groceries each month. In the summer, seniors also receive produce vouchers redeemable at participating farmer’s markets.


Family Markets

We provide families with fresh fruits, vegetables and non-perishable, healthy groceries each month in their children’s schools. Food is offered market-style, and parents can choose the items they want, along with recipes to put ingredients to use.
Joyful Food Market

This monthly, pop-up grocery market takes place at schools in DC’s Wards 7 & 8. Each market provides families with healthy, non-perishable groceries and fresh produce.



Mobile Markets

We provide fruits, vegetables, bread and more at no cost to any resident living in a high-need neighborhood, by delivering to safe, public places for pick-up.
Community Marketplaces

At this monthly farmer’s market-inspired event, we offer fresh, seasonal produce at no cost; cooking demonstrations and on-site resources for health, housing, and other services.
Nutrition Education

Our nutrition education courses teach CAFB food assistance partners and the neighbors they serve about healthy food selection, budgeting, cooking, AND growing.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

TEFAP is a Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost.