The inspiration for the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new monthly backpack drive came to Andrew Clark on the Saturday before Christmas.
“I’m at home and realized — really, an epiphany of how good my life is,” the chamber’s board of directors chairman recalled last Friday (Feb. 18).
Clark has been volunteering for the Merrifield-based nonprofit Food for Others since before COVID-19, but while assisting the food bank with distribution, he saw how much the pandemic exacerbated food insecurity in the area, especially among children, he told FFXnow.
Turning his personal volunteer work into an organizational practice, he decided to take advantage of the chamber’s resources and influence within the Tysons business community to support Food for Others’ Power Pack Program, which provides backpacks with a weekend’s worth of meals to local students.
The idea was received enthusiastically by the chamber’s Community Engagement Committee, which focuses on fostering partnerships between businesses and the rest of the Tysons community, including nonprofits.
Supported by an ongoing GoFundMe, the Third Thursday backpack initiative launched in January, with collections taking place at the chamber’s home at Intelligent Office (1934 Old Gallows Road) in Tysons on the third Thursday of every month — hence the name.
The chamber has collected about 550 food-filled backpacks across its two drives so far, the most recent coming on Feb. 17, according to Clark.
“On Facebook, [we’re] getting reach out from the community: how can we help? And I love that,” he said. “I love the area, the mindset, the give, and from that, the core team is growing. The donations…keep growing.”
While Fairfax County has a low food insecurity rate, it was home to the highest number of food-insecure people in Virginia even prior to the pandemic, according to the Fairfax Food Council, which says that approximately 58,000 residents, including over 23,000 children, lack access to quality, nutritional food.
The nonprofit Feeding America estimates that the rate of food insecurity in the county jumped from 5.8% in 2019 to 7.4% in 2021.
Through its Power Pack Program, Food for Others provides weekend meals to more than 2,500 children at 34 participating elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, according to its website.
Each backpack contains two types of food each for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with two snacks and two drinks.
The food bank is currently delivering about 3,400 backpacks each weekend, according to the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, which seeks to collect 100 packs with each monthly drive.
“We’re so grateful for the help of the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce!” Food for Others said in an emailed statement. “The need for weekend food is really high among Fairfax County students right now, and the work of local organizations to build packs makes a tremendous difference in how many we can serve.”
A new self-storage facility appears likely to replace a soon-to-be-demolished, four-decade-old warehouse in Herndon. On Monday (Sept. 26), the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission unanimously approved plans to construct a…
The Vienna Planning Commission made clear Wednesday (Sept. 28) that in concept, it’s in favor of redeveloping the Vienna Courts offices as duplex housing, but the lack of open space…
(Updated at 11:20 p.m.) An October weekend once filled with fall events is starting to clear out, as Fairfax County braces for Hurricane Ian. The storm that devastated Florida after…
Fare-Free Connector to Metrorail Transfers Start Tomorrow — “To continue to improve transit service in Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved service and fare changes on…
Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.
Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.
Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.
Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.
Ending your marriage and living in the shadows of its pain is one thing, but when children (2 and 4 legged ones) are involved it’s not only about you. Divorce Mediation is the way to resolve the past and establish a solid, cooperative foundation to reorganize the relationship with your former partner. Everyone involved will benefit and you will gain peace-of-mind. Divorce Mediation is the cost effective way to negotiate your divorce and sign a Separation Agreement that is equitable and fair.
Walid Jawad will facilitate the divorce process in a calm and thoughtful manner to help you establish the foundation for your next phase in life. Walid’s 5-Star google reviews is a testament to his dedication to limiting divorcing couples’ stress during this intense transitional period.
Mediate your divorce virtually from the convenience of your kitchen table for $1,200 and save yourself the average Virginia cost of $15,000 per divorce and $22,000 with children. Make a complimentary appointment with Walid at Aether Mediation here: www.aethermediation.com
Reston Museum’s 20th Reston Home Tour features homes include an award-winning modern masterpiece tucked back in a wooded oasis, a beautifully-landscaped personal “club house” offering amazing views of the golf course, a newly-renovated Reston Town Center townhouse with a water