For the third year, the County Board of Supervisors offered their support in the form of a Resolution, declaring May as Hunger Awareness Month in Loudoun County.
On April 8, 2014 The Leesburg Town Council followed suit with a Resolution of their own in recognition and support of the entire event as well as for the Leesburg Churches and pantries participating in the organization of this food drive: Leesburg Presbyterian, St. James Episcopal, Headway Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Loudoun Interfaith Relief and Catholic Charities.
Some in the community have asked why May is chosen for Hunger Awareness when hunger efforts are done all year long? The reason behind May is due to the upcoming summer needs of Loudoun's pantries. Many pantries prepare in May for the food they must stock to feed the food insecure during the summer.
Summer is also the time when children are home from school, unable to participate in the programs LCPS offers. Loudoun Food Pantries help fill those needs.
The County Board of Supervisors not only proclaim May as Hunger Awareness, they actively support it as well. In 2012, the County Administration offices alone collected over 4,000 lbs. of food. In 2013, a creative campaign called, "stuff the Chairman's office with food" was equally as successful.
Multi Faith Food Drive 2014
One of the kick-off events is the County Multi Faith Food Drive called "Love Your Neighbor, Feed Your Neighbor". This year it is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2014.
In 2012, over 1100 volunteers from 6 denominations collected over 54,000 lbs. of food and collected over $12,000 in financial donations for 5 food pantries in Loudoun.
In 2013, volunteers from 10 denominations collected over 69,000 lbs. of food, a 27 percent increase over 2012. All this food is to help pantries across Loudoun prepare for the summer months.
The goal for 2014 is to collect 90,000 lbs. of food. That is a lofty goal but with the support of 19 denominations+ working together to reach their goal, the organizers are optimistic.
This year two different ways have been implemented to help restock the pantry shelves with your contributions.
There have been needs specifically targeted for each week as well as the culminating large collection on Saturday, May 3, 2014.
All donations collected will exclusively benefit Loudoun County area food banks including: Seven Loaves (Middleburg), Loudoun Interfaith Relief, Catholic Charities (Leesburg) Messiah’s Market (Ashburn), Tree of Life Ministries (Purcelllville) and LINK (Sterling).
The requested weekly donations are as follows:
- April 7-13: canned tuna
- April 14-20: peanut butter and jelly/jam (no glass please)
- April 21-27: hearty canned soups
The final week prior to the main food drive will be the door-to-door campaign with notices being left to remind citizens to leave a bag of non-perishable groceries outside their doorstep the morning of Saturday, May 3, 2014.
The multi-faith organizers of this Love Your Neighbor food drive have requested help in spreading the word in hopes of making the largest impact possible to help alleviate hunger in Loudoun County.
If you are a social media user, please "like" the Facebook page for Love Your Neighbor - facebook.com/MultiFaithFoodDriveForLoudounCounty and/or "tweet" about the food drive using @lynfyn2014 to help garner support.
Other hunger events during the month of May include:
- May 7th, 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.: Loudoun Chamber Business Women of Loudoun to benefit Loudoun Interfaith Relief's 10 for 10 campaign.
- May 10th Stamp Out Hunger (U.S. Postal Workers food drive)
- May 12th Ashburn Pub, Loudoun Chamber Business Women
- May 28th World Hunger Day