1 in 6 Americans Depend on A Food Pantry

Food banks all over the country need help, this year more than ever.  According to a  recent NPR story, “More than 17-million households in the U.S. do not have access to enough food,”  and Feeding America reports that 1 in 6 Americans depend on a food pantry to get by; and the number of children relying on food banks in their network has increased 50% since 2006.

You can help!  There are many national organizations that let you donate online including the Global Foodbanking Network, Feeding America, the Salvation Army, and the United Way, or you can use an online tool to find a local food pantry that needs your help!  See the food pantry locater at AmpleHarvest.org.

Locally, the Capital Area Food Bank serves the DC Metro area, delivering food assistance to an estimated 88,400 people each week from a food pantry, soup kitchen, or other agencies served by the Capital Area Food Bank like local charities including ALIVE! – 19,000 more than four years ago.

Angel Giving Tree Program, Holiday on the Avenue, Scottish Christmas Walk and More: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • This holiday season, J.C. Penny and the Salvation Army have teamed up to promote the Angel Giving Tree program.  The online program saw 40,000 people participate last year.  You can adopt Angels in Alexandria to help. U.S. citizens who register will be sent a wish list from someone in-need via e-mail, based on criteria they choose, and can purchase goods that UPS will ship for free!
  • On Friday, December 3rd, all Alexandrians are welcome to attend “Holiday on the Avenue“- Del Ray’s holiday tree lighting.  It will take place from 6-9 PM and refreshments will be provided.  For more info, call (703) 746-3301.
  • Also that Friday and through the following Saturday, Old Town will play host to the 40th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade.  The parade itself begins at 11 AM on Saturday, and will feature over 100 Scottish clans, bagpipe players and more-all to celebrate Old Town’s Scottish heritage.  To learn more, visit the Walk’s official page.  Come join the festivities and look for ACT for Alexandria’s marching brigade headed up by Executive Director John Porter!
  • Check out Gale Curcio‘s article about Dr. Roy Heron and his effort to help minority students at T.C. Williams High School become more invested in their education.  Dr. Heron recently founded the D.C. Metro Area Chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund, which will hold its first fundraiser on Thursday, December 9th at the Embassy of New Zealand from 7-10 PM.
  • For those who’ve been following the possible redevelopment of Jefferson-Houston Elementary, you probably don’t want to miss the Parker-Grey Growler’s coverage of the final public meeting on this controversial project.

Giving Thanks in Alexandria: This Week’s Latest ACTion

  • During the holiday season, the Carpenter’s Shelter needs volunteers more than ever to help serve warm meals and assist in other services.  To participate, visit  their Volunteer page.  Monetary donations are also welcome in their Alternative Holiday Giving Program.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, you can put your feet to good use by running in the 2010 Alexandria Turkey Trot. Race organizers will be collecting food donations for ALIVE!, a nonprofit organization serving Alexandria’s needy. Please bring two nonperishable food items (cans, boxes) on race day. You may also make an optional cash donation when you register for the race.
  • The D.C.-based Capital Area Food Bank asks for your donations to provide meals for its 2,800 low-income families and senior citizens.  To learn more and donate, click here.
  • The Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless has a similar meal donation program called the Thanksgiving Basket Drive.   Your gift will feed those at Sullivan House, or will go toward the Adopt-A-Family program.
  • The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) recently announced that they’ll host their own “Black Friday,” when black and partially-black pets’ adoption costs will be greatly discounted in hopes that the animals will find a home. “The number of pets brought to us is up significantly this year, and they just keep coming,” remarked the League’s Executive Director Martha C. Armstrong. To learn more, visit the AWLA website or call (703) 746-4774.
  • Shopping on “Black Friday”? The City of Alexandria is offering free parking in all City-owned garages on Friday, November 26. Free parking is a special incentive for shoppers to visit Old Town to make their holiday purchases. Dozens of merchants are opening early, some as early as 6 a.m., and offering deep discounts. Find out more at VisitAlexandriaVA.com.

Contact Volunteer Alexandria for more Thanksgiving related volunteer opportunities.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!