ARLINGTON, VA – The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating long term food insecurity in Arlington County, proudly announces its 35th Anniversary of serving the community on June 30, 2023. Since its inception in 1988, AFAC has been at the forefront of providing vital food resources to individuals and families in need in Arlington and Northern Virginia, and this milestone is a testament to their unwavering commitment to the community.

AFAC has come a long way since its first recorded weekly client visits in 1993, where 94 families were served at just two distribution sites. Today, the local food bank serves over 3,200 families each week across 20 distribution sites in Arlington County, Alexandria and Falls Church. This substantial increase in service reflects the growing demand for food assistance and the dedicated efforts of AFAC’s staff, volunteers, and generous supporters. 

“Our founders saw a need and thought their volunteer work could find a solution,” says Chief Executive Officer Charlie Meng. “Through 9/11, a housing crisis, government shutdowns, COVID-19, and now inflation, AFAC has remained committed to our mission to alleviate food insecurity in Arlington.”

As AFAC commemorates its 35th anniversary, the organization faces new challenges. This year, soaring food prices had a profound impact on AFAC’s operations. The cost of buying food increased significantly, causing more families to access their services, and forcing AFAC to overspend its food purchase budget by three-quarters of a million dollars. Despite this financial strain, AFAC remains committed to its mission and continues to seek solutions to ensure that all the families that come to their doors receive the assistance they need.

To mark this occasion, AFAC is planning a special 35th Anniversary Spring Event on April 18, 2024. The event will aim to celebrate the food bank’s achievements, recognize the invaluable support from volunteers, donors, and community partners over the past 35 years, and bring to light the continuously growing need for food assistance in the community. 

“AFAC is not the work of any one person, but the work of 2000 volunteers, 24 staff members, thousands of food donors, and many more who have given their financial support to make sure the least fortunate in our community will have the food they need to sustain their families,” emphasizes Meng. “AFAC’s success is a clear sign that Arlington cares.”

ABOUT AFAC: The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is an independent, community-based non-profit food pantry that provides dignified access to nutritious supplemental groceries to neighbors in need. Over 3,200 families are coming to AFAC each week at 20 distribution sites throughout Arlington County, Alexandria, and Falls Church to access fresh and healthy supplemental groceries, freeing up tightly stretched funds for child and health care, rent, and other financial demands. For more information, visit and follow @afacfeeds on social media.