Free Food for Families | Capital Area Food Bank
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Family Markets are monthly, no-cost, market-style grocery distributions at public and charter schools. They make it easier for families to get the good, healthy food they need to thrive.

No-cost convenience

Many families in our region don’t have access to food that’s healthy because it’s not affordable, not close by, or both. When transportation is a challenge, a trip to the grocery store can take parents hours, all while they balance jobs, childcare, and other commitments. The food bank’s Family Markets help address some of these challenges to obtaining good food by providing free groceries in schools.

Markets are located in communities where hunger hits hardest, and they enable families to receive food right where children already go each day. Of the food distributed, roughly half is fresh produce, making it easier for parents to prepare nutritious meals at home. With the help of our partners, we serve an average of 3,300 families per month.

Partnering to meet specific needs

Based on the specific needs of each school’s community and demographics, we also partner with organizations that can provide additional services during Family Markets. Services may include:

  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Urban gardening
  • Nutrition education courses
  • Utility assistance
  • Housing assistance
  • Health care programs
  • College financial aid resources for high school seniors

Become a partner

The Family Market Program currently partners with companies and organizations such as:

  • Aetna
  • BELL – the Education Foundation for Manassas Park City Schools
  • Giant Family Foundation
  • Redskins Charitable Foundation
  • The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
  • University of Maryland’ TRIO’s program
  • UMD Department of Extensions

We want to continue to build strong relationships with local and national organizations that are passionate about making a positive impact in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Contact to learn more about ways your organization can get involved. Together, we can solve hunger.

How to participate

Currently, the food bank serves 44 schools where at least half of the student body qualifies for free or reduced school meals. Participants must have a child who attends the school where the Family Market is located.

Get Help

Help the community you live in

Every day, thousands of people rely on the food bank and our partners. It takes community members like you to ensure that they get the help they need. With just one dollar in donations, we can supply 2.5 meals. Help us help others.