The mission of the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is to feed our neighbors in need by providing dignified access to nutritious supplemental groceries. AFAC is committed to maintaining an equitable, safe, supportive, and respectful space for all of the members of our community.
AFAC is a private nonprofit organization that is not affiliated with any religious or governmental entity and is supported by the generous donations of many individuals, businesses, foundations, and others in our community.
This document was created to ensure a safe, respectful, and healthy environment for all clients at the Arlington Food Assistance Center. A Client is any person who visits AFAC in search of food assistance.
As an AFAC Client, you have the right to:
- be treated with dignity and respect at all times by AFAC staff members, volunteers, and by other clients;
- be served without discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, country of origin, first language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, age, or disability;
- receive food that meets local, state, and federal standards for food safety;
- refuse any food items that do not meet your dietary or religious standards;
- expect that your name and personal information will remain confidential; and
- receive clear policies and procedures about how to obtain and renew a weekly grocery referral.
You will never be:
- asked to pay or work in exchange for AFAC services;
- asked for your citizenship status or social security number; or be
- required to participate in any religious or political activity during food distribution. This includes, but is not limited to listening to prayer, music, sermons, or political speech of any kind.
AFAC has the right to:
- determine eligibility standards, to modify those standards as necessary, and to serve those clients who meet the standards;
- require photo identification and proof of residency to receive a grocery card;
- require that a client obtain a referral and/or a renewal from a caseworker at Arlington County’s Department of Human Services, the Arlington Public Schools or one of our partner agencies;
- limit client visits to one time per week and determine the quantity of food provided each household so that all clients may receive a fair portion;
- serve any client without preferential treatment; and
- set guidelines related to health and safety, including requiring facemasks, social distancing and other protocols set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
AFAC is entitled to refuse service to any person who:
- is demonstrating hostile, aggressive, threatening, violent, or vulgar behavior;
- poses a safety risk to other clients, volunteers, or staff;
- does not live in AFAC’s service area;
- does not abide by posted rules for behavior and conduct;
- cannot provide their 1) AFAC grocery card or 2) photo ID and proof of residency; or
- has an expired referral that has not been renewed by a social service agency.