The holidays may be over, but the need for food assistance persists

ARLINGTON, VA – Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) provided groceries to a historic number of families in a single week. During the week ending March 12, 2023, AFAC served 3,055 families. This is the first time in 35 years that the number of families served surpassed 3,000 families in a seven day period. As inflation continues and families grapple with the end of the pandemic-era boost in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the need for local food assistance is greater than ever.

AFAC has seen a steady increase in the number of families since inflation took over as the dominant reason forcing families into food insecurity. Even though many families saw a benefit from the increase in the minimum wage, inflation has already taken away any benefit that was received. “Our families cannot get a break. First it was the pandemic, then inflation, and now the loss of SNAP benefits means they are worse off than they were before March of 2020,” says AFAC’s Chief Executive Officer Charlie Meng.

Not only is the increase in families straining AFAC’s budget, but inflation is also raising the cost of the foods AFAC provides to its families. “This double hit is the challenge we are facing – a challenge we will face long into the future,” emphasizes Meng.

While AFAC remains committed to providing supplemental groceries to residents of Arlington County, individuals everywhere are facing the effects of the current economic situation. AFAC’s recent expansion into the City of Alexandria is intended to help address long term food insecurity for families throughout Northern Virginia.

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 all our Arlington neighbors in need. At AFAC, hunger and the demand for free groceries has reached an all-time high. Currently over 3,000 families are coming to AFAC each week at eighteen distribution sites throughout Arlington County 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.