It’s dinnertime in a home in Lorton. Two children are enjoying a laugh while they scoop up spoons of chicken, rice and corn. They don’t always have vegetables at their meal and the oldest child states she likes the corn best. How did they get it? Mom received it the day before in a bag of groceries she was handed at her weekly visit to the food pantry at the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC).
Without this weekly assistance, tonight’s corn would not be served, and neither would a number of other pantry essentials that make it to her table from week to week. As the children snuggle into bed that night, they are covered with a blanket given to them through Lorton's Attic, LCAC’s thrift store. They don’t know this of course, they are just thankful for the warmth.
The corn from this family’s dinner may have arrived from a food drive at Burke Community Church that brought in more than 2,304 pounds and helped replenish the shelves. Five volunteers on Monday sorted and shelved the food, then prepared the “A” bags that were given to families on Monday and Tuesday evening.
Based on the value of a pound of food set by the Capital Area Food Bank, the donation from last Sunday is valued at more than $3,824. Through April, LCAC has received from individuals, faith communities, businesses, schools and the Capital Area Food Bank, more than 257,658 pounds of food. Each can of corn, each blanket, each food gift card is logged in, recorded and makes it back out the door to families right here in our neighborhoods. Non-cash donations, just like the can of corn mentioned above make a difference each day in the lives of the families that LCAC serves.
Since July, LCAC has served 446 households containing 1,834 individuals for food, clothing, furniture and household items. If a family (like the one mentioned above) came 15 weeks for food, they were only counted once. It is easy to see how we need 2.5 tons of food each week to feed those families that come in our doors! It is no wonder that donations of clothing and furniture are critical for our mission at LCAC! Not only can we help provide basic items for families in Lorton and Fort Belvoir, but we can also bring in revenue through the sale of items in Lorton’s Attic, our thrift store.
So back to that can of corn, this family, and many like it, are hoping their Lorton neighbors will continue to bring in food (we are low on green vegetables, canned soup and corn)! LCAC has been helping families in need since Christine Herbstreith and a group of women from Cranford United Methodist Church formed the Lorton Community Information Center back in 1975. This great community has been helping one another for a long time!
Linda Patterson is the Executive Director of the Lorton Commnity Action Center.