Food For All Rises to the Challenge in Washington DC
Food For All (FFA) is one of the few programs delivering groceries on a regular basis to households city-wide. FFA prioritizes people who are homebound, specifically people with disabilities, the elderly and single mothers. 50% of our clients are referred by social workers working in District organizations such as Unity Health Care, Washington Hospital Center, Community Connections, DHCF and CFSA. The goals of the program are to provide nutritious food to those unable to procure groceries for themselves, to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for DC-area residents, and to provide a social exchange between volunteers and clients for the betterment of society.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, demand for FFA’s food distribution services has dramatically escalated, resulting in a ten-fold increase in beneficiaries (from 142 people served weekly at the end of March, to 1520 served weekly at the end of July).
Specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted FFA in two ways:
- Increase in demand for our food delivery services
- Establishment of Food For All as one of the hubs for the Capital Area Food Bank.
Increase in demand
Food For All has been inundated with requests for food deliveries, with calls from clients and social workers rising from an average of 6 calls a week to 84 a week. This has resulted in grocery deliveries to 150 households each week (up from 60 households a week pre-COVID)
Moreover, the demographics of our clients have shifted, with many of our new clients being the recently unemployed, COVID-19 patients (including those under quarantine), and high-risk individuals.
FFA has established an emergency service to provide food to people within twenty-four hours. This is helpful for patients recently discharged from hospital, victims of domestic abuse and those suddenly quarantined. FFA does an average of 10 emergency deliveries a week.
FFA as a service hub
FFA has taken on a new role as a food provider for agencies and institutions throughout the city. FFA provides groceries for the following partners: La Clinica del Pueblo (Ward 1), Bancroft Elementary School (Ward 1), The Woodner Apartments (Ward 1), Sacred Heart Church (Ward 1), Empower DC (Ward 5), Serve Your City (Ward 6), Phyllis Wheatley YWCA (Ward 6), Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center (Ward 7). FFA provides bags of groceries, fresh milk and produce to these partners, which has greatly expanded its reach into the city. Over 500 families are benefited weekly through these partners.
FFA’s new role is also of great service to the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), which is logistically unable to deliver food to its hundreds of partner agencies. CAFB needs hubs like FFA to ensure food distribution efforts are widespread and reach those organizations with smaller financial and logistical capacity.
Recently one of her patients sent a selfie of himself with the bag of groceries received from Food For All. He wanted to share his excitement about the food with her. Yvette said: “When I tell you how much your food means to our patients I am serious. It’s not hype.” . Yvette Schools, a case manager with MetroHealth
I don’t get food stamps, so this is a big help. The food was excellent and I could use everything. I pray for the volunteers continuously. Bonita, a recent cancer survivor
My daughter and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The two ladies who brought our food gave me the uplift I needed to get through the week. Chatara, recently unemployed
AMURT also responded to COVID-19 in Bangladesh, India, Lebanon, Philippines and other countries.
Food For All is supporting over 100 food insecure families in The Woodner Apartments on a weekly basis.
Thank you notes from some of the women beneficiaries at the YWCA center for formerly homeless women.
FFA client with underlying health issues who is unable to leave her house.
Mr. Paige, house manager at Park Lane Transitional Program, receiving food bags for 10 residents who are in transition from substance abuse and crisis situations.