Food Distribution Hours at 2708 South Nelson Street

Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 - 12 pm

AFAC provides free weekly supplemental groceries to Arlington residents in need. AFAC is committed to maintaining a safe, supportive, and respectful space for all members of our community regardless of race, religion, immigration status, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, first language, gender, or disability.
All Are Welcome.

Click for information about AFAC's holiday offerings and schedule.

Click for downloadable client policies.

Click for downloadable Bill of Rights.

AFAC WhatsApp QR Code

AFAC is on WhatsApp to improve communication with our clients! To get connected:

  • Scan the QR Code
  • Press the Blue Tab
  • Text "Food" in the chat and send!

*Updated November, 2023.

The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is committed to providing free supplemental groceries to any Arlington County resident who cannot afford to purchase enough food for themselves or their families.
As of January 17, 2023, wearing face masks indoors at AFAC will be optional.


To receive weekly groceries from AFAC, you must: (1) live in Arlington and (2) get a referral from an Arlington County social service agency.

To apply for AFAC services or receive a barcode card, you must provide ONE photo identification and ONE proof of your address in Arlington. The name must be the same on both documents. A post office box or business address is not acceptable. Once enrolled, bring the documents to AFAC to receive a barcode card. After that, please present your AFAC barcode card for weekly groceries. For questions about required documents, please contact AFAC at 571-384-1440.

Acceptable Photo Identification, examples include:

  • Photo ID card (examples include driver’s license, state issued ID, consular ID, etc.)
  • Photo ID card from a school, college, or a social service agency
  • Passport

Acceptable Proofs of Address (must be in your name), examples include:

  • ID card with current address (examples include driver’s license, state issued ID, consular ID, etc.)
  • Voter registration card
  • Current rental lease agreement or mortgage statement
  • Documentation of residence in transitional or supportive housing
  • Current homeowners, rental, automobile, or life insurance bill (cards or policies not accepted)
  • Utility bill, not more than two months old (examples include gas, electric, sewer, water, cable, or phone bill)
  • Official mail or documentation from Arlington County Department of Human Services, Social Security, or another social service agency
  • Bank Statement or paystub, not more than two months old
  • For sublessees who cannot provide one of the above documents, you can provide one proof of address in the leaseholder’s name and a signed letter from the leaseholder.


AFAC referrals last for 6 months and give you access to free weekly groceries. At the end of 6 months, call your case worker to renew.

  • Go in person to the Department of Human Services, Customer Service Center (2100 Washington Blvd., first floor, 22204) Monday - Friday from 8:00AM - 5:00PM. For more information, call DHS at 703-228-1300.
  • If you are 60 or older, call the Dept. of Human Services, Arlington Area Agency on Aging at 703-228-1700, or
  • If you have a child at the Arlington Public Schools, call your school’s social worker.

AFAC distributes groceries at five locations

Please let your social worker know which site you prefer.

AFAC Headquarters at Nelson: 2708 S. Nelson St.

Monday to Friday:  9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Tuesday and Thursday evenings: 6:00 – 7:00 PM
Saturday morning: 9:00 – 12:00 PM

Arlington Mill Community Center: 909 S. Dinwiddie St

Monday: 9:30 – 11:30 AM

Gilliam Place: 918 S. Lincoln St, 1st floor community room

Monday: 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Gates of Ballston Community Center: 4108 4th St N.

Friday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Clarendon United Methodist Church: 606 N. Irving St, lower level

Saturday: 8:30 – 10:30 AM

Can't Visit in Person?

A friend or family member can pick up your AFAC groceries and bring them to you. They must bring your AFAC barcode card. Clients may pick up for two households in one visit. If you are homebound due to a disability and don't have someone to pick up your groceries from AFAC, call 571-384-1448 to inquire about home delivery. Deliveries are only available to people without a support system and with severe disability.

Click on this link for more information about eligibility for the home delivery program.

Client Conduct

AFAC may set guidelines for health and safety. AFAC may refuse service to any person who does not abide by posted rules for behavior and conduct. Please see the AFAC Bill of Rights for more details.

Weather Closures

Weather closures will be announced at, on AFAC social media, and on some local TV stations.

Policy Changes

AFAC is a private non-profit organization. As such, service may be denied for the violation of any AFAC policy. AFAC reserves the right to amend these and other policies at any time.


AFAC does not discriminate based on race, religion, ethnicity, first language, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, age, or disability. AFAC is committed to maintaining a safe, supportive, and respectful space for all of the members of our community.
All Are Welcome.

Our goal is to have the following items every week for our families:

  • ½ gallon of 2% milk
  • One dozen eggs
  • One Serving of Protein
    (choice of chicken, ground beef, fish, or hot dogs)
  • One portion of fresh fruit
  • Two portions of fresh vegetables
  • Choice of cereal or oatmeal
  • Choice of canned goods
  • Choice of dry goods: rice, pasta, or dry beans
  • Bread
  • Baked goods

Donations & Purchases

Meats, milk and eggs are purchased from wholesalers to assure us that we are getting the best price for these fresh items. Produce donations from local gardeners, farmers markets, and gleaning organizations are supplemented by purchases from wholesalers as the budget allows. Choice items and canned goods are generally donated, but donations may be supplemented by very low cost purchases. All bread and baked goods are donated from grocery stores and local bakeries.

Food Drives & Donations

Food drives are a very important source of food donations to AFAC. They provide us with high quality food at no cost. To learn more about how to donate food or hold a food drive, please visit our food drive page.

Arlington County Department of Human Services

2100 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Community Assistance Bureau, 703-228-1300

Aging & Disability Services Division, 703-228-1700

Arlington Employment Center, 703-228-1400

Public Health, 703-228-1200

Mental Health, 703-228-5160

Homelessness Assistance

PathForward, 703-228-7803
2020-A 14th St N
Arlington, VA 22201

VOA Chesapeake - Residential Program Center, 703-228-0022
1554 Columbia Pike
Arlington, VA 22204

Doorways for Women & Families, 703-504-9400

Bridges 2 Independence - Sullivan House, 703-525-7177
3103 9th Rd N
Arlington, VA 22201

Food Assistance

For up-to-date information about food assistance in Arlington, check out the Arlington County webpage for food assistance.


Our Lady Queen of Peace Food Pantry, 703-979-5580
2700 South 19th Street
Arlington, Virginia, 22204

Catholic Charities, Food Pantry at Christ House, 703-548-4227
131 South West Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Food For Others, 703-207-9173
Office: 2938 Prosperity Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22031
*Call office or visit website to view specific food distribution sites and times.

ALIVE!, 703-837-9321
2723 King Street
Alexandria, 22303

Medical Assistance

Arlington Free Clinic703-558-0035
2921 11th St S
Arlington, VA 22201

Arlington Pediatric Center, 703-271-8800
3401 Columbia Pike, Suite 200
Arlington, VA 22204

Neighborhood Health, 703-535-5568
2120 Washington Blvd #305
Arlington, VA 22204

Transportation Assistance

Transportation options for older adults and individuals with disabilities available at Arlington's Aging & Disability Resource Center.

The Shepherd's Center, 703-506-2199
1205 Dolley Madison Blvd, McLean, VA 22101
Shepherd’s Center volunteers help local seniors by providing rides to medical and therapy appointments, pharmacies and grocery stores; friendly calls and visits; and helping hands at home.

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.

For questions or more information, please contact AFAC Client Services Department at 571-290-6047 or at