Community Feeding Taskforce

Prince William County asked us to collaborate with the Emergency Operations Center to develop and lead the Community Feeding Taskforce as part of their disaster response to COVID-19. Through this partnership, and leveraging CARES funding, we have been redistributing about 250,000 pounds of food to over 60 food distribution sites throughout Prince William County, City of Manassas, and Manassas Park per week.

PW Food rescue image of ugly looking carots

Food Helpline

If you are in need of food, please contact our Food Helpline:  703-749-4668

Bi-lingual volunteers are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.  They will provide information about getting food from the nearest food distribution site closest to where you live OR setup a no-contact, direct delivery of an Emergency Food Box to your home.  Food Rescue Heroes will complete the delivery using our app.  Please Note:  these are no-contact deliveries and our Food Rescue Heroes will only drop off the food if COVID-19 safety precautions are being followed.

Image
Image

Food Warehouse

The warehouse and two docked refrigerated trailers gives us 42 pallet positions of cold storage and another 60+ pallet positions for non-perishable food items, plus an additional loading dock and drive-up dock for shipping and receiving. 

Phase I

As part of the USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program, we receive truckloads of produce boxes every day.  Food Rescue Heroes and two box trucks help us send out 6,000 produce boxes, 480 cases of milk, fresh vegetables, and non-perishable food boxes every week.  As of September, we have redistributed over 3 million pounds of food from the warehouse since April 2020.

Phase II

While sending out so much produce is great, we recognized that there was still a great need for non-perishable items.  Food pantry shelves were being emptied out faster than they could be stocked, families couldn’t afford to buy items they normally could have, and the supply chain was severely crippled leaving grocery store shelves bare and limits on how much could be purchased at a time.   All of this contributed to our decision to begin making our own non-perishable food boxes.  With the use of $1 million in PWC CARES funding designated for food purchasing, we have been working to buy bulk items to build over 2,300 food boxes every week.

Image
Image

Strategic Partnerships

Collaborating with many different businesses and organizations has been crucial to our success.  Here are just a couple of partners who have been working extra hard with us to reduce food insecurity in our community, truly going above and beyond:

Didlake opened up an unused warehouse space for us to begin receiving, sorting, and redistributing food supplies as we created the Community Feeding Taskforce.  By donating warehouse and office space, they enabled us to start helping those in need while PWC EOC prepared the space we currently occupy.  https://www.didlake.org/

Sysco donated a 53’ refrigerated trailer from April to June and donated truckloads of perishable food items during that time.  Cold storage is a must-have for our success, and their support allowed us to receive and store perishable items for redistribution.  https://sysco.com/Contact/Contact/Our-Locations/Virginia

Capital Area Food Bank helped us become a temporary Feeding America partner early on and have helped us secure extra produce, milk, USDA Boxes, and non-perishable food boxes – sometimes for last minute emergencies!  https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

Civil Air Patrol volunteer every other weekend to assist in preparing pallets of food for distribution into our community.  Their support has been invaluable as true Weekend Warriors with our program!  http://encampment.vawg.cap.gov/

Old School Community Kitchen is a pop-up effort headed by Zandra’s in Haymarket.  Their team has been taking bulk food donations from us and turning them into individual, packaged meals for several of our distribution sites to give to their clients. They have already provided us with over 31,000 pounds of food – the equivalent of 16,128 meals.  https://www.oldschoolkitchen.org/

Millers Supplies at Work decided to donate a truck and driver several days a week over a couple of months to help us move large quantities of food more efficiently.  Feeling the impact of COVID-19, their company decided to step up and help while business slowed down and moved hundreds of thousands of pounds for us.  https://www.millersatwork.com/

St. Lucy’s Project (Catholic Charities) is literally our neighbor and we have been collaborating for several months now, purchasing and delivering food together – particularly for residents in Manassas.  We have been able to supply them with produce boxes and cases of milk when they’ve needed more, and they have sent produce trucks our way on multiple occasions as well.  https://www.ccda.net/need-help/food/food-pantries/manassas-food-warehouse/

Distributors

Distributors are companies working with the USDA to package boxes of produce, milk, dairy, and/or meat and then ship it to nonprofit organizations all across the US for last-mile distribution into the trunks of those in need of food.  We have been working with some amazing people to coordinate weekly deliveries of produce and bi-weekly deliveries of milk during Round 1 and Round 2 of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Farmers to Families Food Box (FFFB) distribution.

Image

Volunteering

Volunteer Prince William coordinates opportunities to volunteer with the Food Helpline and at the warehouse Monday through Friday.  Opportunities to help include unloading pallets of food from trailers, preparing orders for distribution, loading food into Food Rescue Hero’s cars, and building non-perishable food boxes.  Most work is done from 8am until Noon.  While COVID restrictions are in place, all volunteers are required to wear masks and have their temperature checked upon arrival.  To learn more or to sign-up to volunteer, please contact Deb Hannum:  dhannum@volunteerprincewilliam.org

PW Food rescue image of ugly looking carots