About AFAC

  • Mission Statement: To feed our neighbors in need by providing dignified access to nutritious supplemental groceries.
  • Providing free groceries allow families to use their limited financial resources to obligations such as housing, utilities, medication, and other basic needs.
  • All families are required to have a referral to be eligible for our services. Referrals can come from approved partnering agencies, such as Arlington County’s Department of Human Services, schools, or other social service organizations.
  • According to the Capital Area Food Bank’s Hunger 2020 Report, 15,870 individuals in Arlington are food insecure (having limited or uncertain access to food, reduced food intake, and disrupted eating patterns). Last year, AFAC served 14,150 total individuals, or 89% of reported food insecure individuals.


FY20 Client Numbers

  • 107,929 total family visits in one year
  • 14,150 total individuals served in one year
  • 6,718 total family referrals issued in one year
  • 5,913 families served in one year
  • 3,050 families served on average per month
  • 2,079 families served on average per week
  • 33% of individuals are children
  • 12% of individuals are seniors
  • 7% of all individuals are disabled
  • In FY20, 3 million pounds of food was distributed to families in need.
    • Nearly 1.3 million pounds of food was donated, mainly through local grocery stores, food drives held by the community, and Plot Against Hunger (AFAC’s urban agriculture program).

Food Distribution

  • Instead of pre-packaging our groceries, families select food from our shelves so that they can take home food that they know their families will enjoy.
  • This choice model has proven to reduce food waste and save expenses, permitting AFAC to serve our community to our capacity, while providing many healthy options.
  • AFAC’s weekly menu includes fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, fish, milk, eggs, rice, beans, cereal or oatmeal, canned goods, and bread.
  • AFAC has 18 grocery distribution centers, including affordable housing communities and senior living facilities.
  • AFAC also supplies food to many partnering agencies to support their meal and snack programs.


  • AFAC receives no federal or state funding. Arlington County provides only 7% of what it takes to operate AFAC. The remaining 93% comes from private donations—cash and food donated from individuals, foundations, faith congregations, local businesses, and peer organizations.
  • AFAC has an annual budget of over $7.6 million for FY21.
    • Cash budget: $3.6 million
    • Donated food value: $2.5 million
    • Volunteer time value: $1.5 million (42,000 hours served in FY20, the equivalent of 20 additional FT employees)
  • AFAC’s overhead rate in FY20 was 14.9%.
  • 40% of food we provide is donated to us through partnerships with local grocery chains, gleaning networks, farmers’ markets, and corporate and community food drives.
  • To ensure that we provide nutritionally balanced food, AFAC purchases 60% of its food at a discounted cost from both large national distributors and reputable, local, civic-minded suppliers.
  • AFAC’s FY21 food purchase budget is $1,050,000.