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Arlington Food Assistance Center Expands Services

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The executive director of the Arlington Food Assistance Center says his staff is seeing fewer expired cans among their donations, perhaps a small sign the economy is turning around.
Jonathan Wilson
The executive director of the Arlington Food Assistance Center says his staff is seeing fewer expired cans among their donations, perhaps a small sign the economy is turning around.

In Virginia, demand for a food pantry's services is still growing, but not quite as fast as it was this time last year.

Arlington Food Assistance Center is still getting applications from 10 new families needing assistance each month.

Executive director Charlie Meng says both financial and food donations are up. That's allowed AFAC to expand services in the community, including two new distribution centers in low-income senior housing communities, and two more planned at senior living centers next year.

"So we're now serving upwards of 400 elderly individuals on fixed income...whether it's in those senior living facilities, or in their own homes," Meng says.

AFAC is also reaching out to the youngest needy Arlingtonians, by packing backpacks full of food for homeless public school children each Friday.

"Typically on weekends and over long holidays these students don't have all of the food they really need," Meng says.

He says right now, the program is only running in one school but AFAC hopes to expand to other schools in Arlington soon.

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