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, it became obvious that we had to pay those household bills first, and unfortunately, food became a second priority.
The money situation finally got so bad that by November 2012, we barely had a can of food in the cupboard nor a carton of milk. I investigated the criteria for The Arlington Food Assistance Center right before Thanksgiving and applied for acceptance at the Arlington Department of Human Services. The people at the Department were very courteous, efficient and knowledgeable, and soon I was in the AFAC program, choosing Gunston Community Center as my pickup location.
Upon my first visit to Gunston and AFAC, I did not know what to expect. I was a bit nervous and it was the Thursday night before Thanksgiving holiday. But I had no reason to be apprehensive because the folks distributing food there were gracious, helpful, witty and just generally nice to me, a newcomer! They asked me what I needed in the way of milk, bread, eggs, vegetables, fruit and canned goods and they helped me pack it all into my bags. They even had a BIG SURPRISE for all us, namely a Thanksgiving turkey! It was a very positive experience and I continued to go down to the center nearly every Thursday night after that until May 2012. I don’t know what I would have done without their help during a very difficult time in my life. I will always be grateful and supportive of their efforts and kind hearts.