Monique was diagnosed with hydrocephalus when she was 7 years old. After more than 4 brain surgerys for her condition and a variety of other health issues (Monique used to be diabetic and has a variety of other health battles), Monique is thankful for her doctors who work together to manage her care and the assistance she is provided.
In 2005, Monique was introduced to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) by a social worker at the Department of Human Services – Aging and Disability Services. At first, Monique was able to come to AFAC directly to pick-up food, but with the large crowds and her difficulties getting around, and having to be bed ridden for awhile, her social worker kindly brings her food every other week. While she does receive SNAP benefits, they don’t always last. Therefore, she is thankful for the food she receives from AFAC – she especially loves the soup and items she can add to soup, such as vegetables and chicken. She also appreciates … read more
Marvin “Happy” Robbins
Every staff member and Friday volunteer knows about one of our very special Friday clients, “the Veteran.” Except for a few lucky ones, however, they do not have the opportunity to meet or chat with him when he comes to pick up his groceries. Because he is handicapped, his food is delivered directly to his car…read more
Yoly has been living in Arlington for 15 years now. Originally here on a 3-year contract as a nanny for a World Bank employee from Peru, Yoly was able to find continuing work in childcare and elder care just after her assignment ended. Today she is a US citizen and, like many, she struggles with underemployment and low-wage jobs.
Yoly has found intermittent work as a housekeeper for a local hotel. She cleans 30 rooms every day she is called in to work. “No overtime,” she says. “You do your 30 rooms, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. That is too much for me. I’m 50 years old. And I have a thyroid condition — the kind where you feel tired a lot.” She considers finding more accommodating work, with a more predictable schedule, but there are hurdles. “I’ve been out of work for three years now — regular, full-time work. Maybe I get an hour here, and hour there, taking care of children or old people. But for the full time jobs now they want you to have a driver’s license and a car; …read more
Long-Term Client Depends on AFAC
Watching the procession of men and women, many with their children, lining up to come through AFAC, always makes me wonder what their stories might be. Occasionally I give them a hug as I help them decide what veggies and fruits to take home. I hope a bit of conversation, laughing and looking them in the eye gives them hope that I and others truly care about them as individuals. This interaction is always one of my joys at AFAC! Recently I was pleased to have the opportunity to spend some time with a client, Leslie (not her real name).
Leslie comes in weekly and is escorted through the back of the warehouse by a staff member or volunteer, unlike the other clients who come through the front door. I always wondered what her story might be. She is a very sweet woman in her early 60s who shared matter-of-factly that she has lived with mental illness since college and has been retired from government for 23 years.
She told me being around crowds … read more
My name is Kent Davis, and I’m an AFAC client. You may wonder how I came to be in this position. I think about that myself, every day.
I have had a full life—a happy and secure childhood and as an adult, a member of the United States Army and a restaurateur. But the bulk of my professional experience has been as a designer and outfitter of … read more
Hear more about Lada’s story in this video.
I found out about AFAC through my calligraphy work. I became interested in how it helped folks in the community in 2012. With the loss of one of my major calligraphy clients I found myself in an unexpected position. My sister and I own our home and have lived in Arlington for over 40 years but we found it very difficult to pay our real estate tax bills in addition to utilities, medicine and other expenses. As 2012 moved on, … read more
A mother of six children and grandmother to three, Ms. Angie has lived in Arlington for 20 years and loves giving back to her community. She volunteered at the food bank at the YMCA in her neighborhood for five years. After it moved to Nauck Community Services Center (NCSC), she continued to volunteer, and now lends a hand on Fridays and Saturdays. Her favorite part is… read more.
Jonathan says: “…Job searching during this time was extremely difficult, even for an educated young man. November 2012 was literally hand to mouth and AFAC helped out by providing me with temporary food assistance during a very critical job search time. When you are in this situation you can often feel the weight of the world is on your shoulders, socially excluded from society, embarrassed, and hopeless. Read more…
Matea is a current AFAC client at the Gunston satellite site and picks up food every Thursday evening. She has lived in Arlington for 26 years, has 4 children all over 40 years old, and was holding her newest grandchild as we did this interview. She moved by herself from El Salvador seeking work and a better life, joining her son who was already here. The war in El Salvador was raging at that time and there was a lot of poverty. Read more…