Resources for Furloughed Workers

Woman and grandson shopping for vegetables

The partial federal government shutdown is impacting single adults, families, and children throughout the Washington region.  For Arlington residents, the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is available to supply you with free supplemental groceries.  By providing one-time services and short-term referrals, AFAC is here to help Arlingtonians affected by the shutdown to save their limited resources and maintain a sense of normalcy during this uncertain time.  AFAC does not impose income limits – ever.  If your bills are high, your paychecks are withheld, or you just need something to get you through the week, AFAC is available to you.

Any Arlington resident may receive groceries from AFAC with a government-issued photo ID and proof of address (state ID, lease, or water/electric/gas bill in your name).  To receive groceries on a weekly basis, you’ll need to obtain a referral from the Arlington County Department of Human Services or from your child’s Arlington Public School social worker.  Referrals typically last 3 months and can be renewed if you continue to need AFAC services.

To receive free groceries one-time, visit one of AFAC’s food distribution centers:

AFAC Nelson: 2708 S. Nelson St, Arlington 22206
Monday to Friday:  10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday evenings:  7:00 – 8:00 PM
Saturday morning: 9:00 – 11:00 AM

Gunston Community Center: 2700 S. Lang St, Arlington 22206
Thursday evening: 7:00 – 8:00 PM

Clarendon United Methodist Church: 606 N. Irving St, lower level, Arlington 22201
Saturday morning: 9:30 – 10:30 AM

For a 3-month referral, visit the Arlington County Department of Human Services:

Community Services Center, Sequoia 1
2100 Washington Blvd, 1st floor
Arlington, VA 22204

Read further about our AFAC client policies.

View a sample menu of food families receive from AFAC.

Please be sure to bring your own reusable grocery bags.

If you want to anonymously share your AFAC experiences, you can fill out this questionnaire.

Food Assistance for DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia Residents:

Food for Others has neighborhood distribution sites throughout Northern Virginia and is open to everyone.  No ID or referral is required.

Manna Food Center is available to residents of Montgomery County, Maryland and is waiving income requirements for those affected by the shutdown.

Bread for the City provides supplemental groceries and other services for DC residents.

Several restaurants and businesses are providing free meals and services to furloughed federal employees.  Check the running list here.

Non-Food Resources:

Arlington County has several resources available to furloughed workers ranging from public benefits, employment services, utility bill assistance, and more.

County Water & Utility Bills: Arlington County will extend payments without late fees for furloughed federal employees.  Call 703-228-6570.

Same Day Emergency Funds are available to Arlington residents through Arlington Thrive.

Pet Food: The Animal Welfare League of Arlington has a pet food pantry available to federal employees living in Arlington and Falls Church.

Part-Time Employment: Arlington Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools are hiring furloughed federal employees as substitute teachers.

Fairfax County Government has released a list of resources for Fairfax County residents affected by the furlough.


If you have the means and wish to support AFAC’s efforts with a monetary gift, you can donate here.

Non-perishable food donations are accepted at our main warehouse and various drop off sites throughout Arlington. Visit here to read about most needed items and drop off locations.