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, and rely on our donors and volunteers to help keep our programs running. When you support the food bank, you help strengthen the community by getting meals to neighbors across Washington and the surrounding Virginia and Maryland suburbs who need them.


Final CAFB Trifold Brochure

Let’s break it down

First, the CAFB sources the food. We get it from local farmers. We get it from moms and PTAs and soccer teams that hold food drives. We get it from generous grocery stores like Giant Food, Shoppers, and others.

Produce from farms

Next, we hand over the food to our trusted network of 440+ partners! Those include organizations you know and love like SOME (So Others Might Eat), DC Central Kitchen, and Martha’s Table in Washington; Manna Food Center and SHABACH! in Maryland; and Columbia Baptist Church and SERVE in Virginia. They also include some you may not have heard of like Damien Ministries.

Then what happens?

The partner takes it and works magic.

Martha’s Table turns our food into meals for kids so that they can grow and learn.

Manna packs bags for seniors so they get the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

SERVE lets folks shop for food in a grocery store setting, enabling them to bring healthy ingredients home to cook family meals.

DC Central Kitchen fuels the bodies and minds of those participating in its culinary employment programs.

Damien Ministries and Food and Friends serve our neighbors who are dealing with chronic illness.

You mean CAFB provides food to all those places?

YUP, and we have fun doing it.

But what about in areas where the CAFB doesn’t have a partner non-profit to help meet the need?

Great question.  When there is no partner who can do it, we do it ourselves. Our drivers roll up in a big 18 wheeler and deliver groceries right into the neighborhood.


We deliver food directly to communities of seniors who need wholesome meals. And we set up farmer’s market style fruit and vegetable markets where folks in need can select healthy produce for free.



The Capital Area Food Bank puts the ingredients for good meals into the homes of 540,000 people – 12 percent of all the people in our region. All in, the food bank provides 45 million pounds of food – a third of which is fruits and vegetables – into the community each year. All that food means 36 million meals for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and grandparents.

12%? That’s a lot of people.

It is. And we’re also working to provide and drive demand for healthy food. According to this Feeding America study, 48 percent of households served by the Capital Area Food Bank have a family member with high blood pressure, and 22 percent of households served have a family member with diabetes. We consider it a moral imperative to provide food that helps improve wellness.

That sounds like a BIG impact!            

It sure is, and YOU make it possible!

Thanks for joining our movement today!