ARLINGTON, VA – The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), a leading nonprofit organization committed to alleviating long term food insecurity in Arlington County and Northern Virginia, is proud to announce its adoption of WhatsApp, a popular and free messaging app, to strengthen communication with clients. This strategic move aims to provide clients with easier access to vital information and a direct line to AFAC staff, empowering them to overcome communication barriers that may lie in the way of receiving food assistance.

In an increasingly interconnected world, digital communication platforms have become indispensable tools for organizations seeking to enhance outreach and support to their communities. By leveraging the power of WhatsApp, AFAC seeks to streamline its services and foster seamless interactions with clients. The implementation of this user-friendly platform will enable clients to access AFAC information and connect with staff members effortlessly, simplifying the process of seeking assistance and support.

Key benefits of the WhatsApp integration include:

  1. Instant Access to Information: Through WhatsApp, clients can instantly receive important updates, program announcements, and operational changes. This real-time communication ensures that clients are promptly informed about AFAC’s services as well as any additional client-related updates.
  2. Efficient Support: Clients can now communicate directly with AFAC staff members to address their queries, concerns, and feedback. The instant messaging feature ensures that clients receive timely and personalized responses, strengthening the bond between AFAC and the community it serves.
  3. Equitable Access: Inclusivity promotes effective and equitable communication with clients from various cultural and economic backgrounds.
    1. WhatsApp supports multiple languages, allowing AFAC to cater to the diverse linguistic needs of the community. More than half of AFAC families primarily speak a language other than English.
    1. Many AFAC families cannot afford a traditional cell phone plan. Instead, they conduct essential communication via WhatsApp with any internet connection.
    1. Popular among international communities, new arrivals to Arlington have access to WhatsApp before they can secure another method of communication. Now, they can reach AFAC right away.

Enhanced Privacy: WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures that client interactions remain secure and confidential, fostering trust and confidence in the services provided by AFAC.

“By embracing WhatsApp, AFAC is meeting people where they are and reducing barriers to our services,” emphasizes AFAC’s Director of Client Services, Lily Duran. “It means we can communicate with clients via the method they prefer, that they’re familiar with, and that they can afford.”

To connect with AFAC on WhatsApp, clients can simply add the AFAC number 571-384-1448 to their contacts, and text either “food” or “comida” to get started.

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.