Direct Food Distribution Programs | Capital Area Food Bank
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Direct Food Distribution

Hunger exists in every zip code. We’re committed to helping our neighbors get the food they need to thrive, no matter where they live.

Sometimes it’s most efficient to provide food directly to kids, seniors, and families. While most of the food we provide goes out to the community through our network of more than 400 nonprofit partners, we also distribute food straight to those we serve when there’s no brick-and-mortar partner available in a neighborhood where people are in need, or where that’s the most effective way to reach a particular area or group.

Our direct distribution programs include:

  • Afterschool meals for kids
  • Monthly groceries for seniors
  • Mobile markets and monthly pop-up markets for families
  • Large-scale emergency food distributions when needed

Explore our direct food distribution programs

For kids

Kids Afterschool Meals Program

Not all children have dinner waiting at home each night. To ensure children go home with a full stomach, we provide meals to kids in afterschool programs.

Kids Summer Meals Program

At apartment buildings, public recreation centers, places of worship, and other locations, we provide children with the food they need to fuel their bodies and minds when school lunch programs are unavailable.

Mobile Food Program

During the summer months, we drive a converted school bus loaded with lunches into neighborhoods where kids aren’t within walking distance of food assistance.

For seniors

Senior Brown Bag

The Senior Bag Program provides monthly, senior-specific bags of healthy groceries to people over 55.

Grocery Plus & My Groceries to Go

Through the federal Community Supplemental Food Program, income-eligible seniors over 60 living in DC, as well as Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, receive nutritious groceries each month.

For families

Family Markets

Hosted in schools throughout the region, our Family Markets offer free food in a convenient, market-like setting.

Joyful Food Market

Operated in partnership with Martha’s Table, Joyful Food Markets provide free food for families during a farmers-market style experience at public elementary schools in D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8.

For everyone

Mobile Markets

Every month, we bring no-cost produce and groceries directly into neighborhoods that don’t currently have a permanent location where residents can find food assistance.

Community Marketplaces

Inspired by farmers markets, our Community Marketplaces provide no-cost, seasonal fruits and vegetables in areas in need of fresh produce.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program

Part of a government-and-nonprofit partnership, The Emergency Food Assistance Program significantly increases the food we’re able to distribute by providing our partners with USDA commodity food items at no cost.

Helping kids grow and learn

Too many families in our region are unable to put dinner on the table every night. For children in these homes, their school lunch may be their last meal of the day. But our afterschool meals program helps to prevent that. By delivering meals to afterschool programs and recreation centers throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area, we give kids the extra meal they need to stay healthy and retain what they’ve learned during the day. It’s a vital program for many children in our community.

The market is very helpful. They always have vegetables available and great recipe ideas. And they give you the things you need for those times you might have otherwise run out of food.

Michelle Service Recipient

Help keep our programs going

Our direct distribution programs bring nutritious meals to those who need them most. And you can make more of that possible through a simple donation. With just one unrestricted dollar, you can provide 2 meals. Imagine the difference you can make in peoples’ lives.