Loudoun Hunger Relief Has New Board Chair at the Helm

Loudoun County, VA
Loudoun Hunger Relief (LHR) is pleased to announce the election of Board Chair Charlie McQuillan. Mr. McQuillan has served on the board of LHR since 2014 including on the Executive Committee as Secretary and has been among the directors seeing the organization through a time of unprecedented growth. His steady guidance of the organization will see LHR through the next year of change and challenge.

Mr. McQuillan is General Manager, Federal Health Markets, for Octo Consulting. He has more than 20 years of executive experience in human capital management, health, and media services. Mr. McQuillan is a resident of Ashburn.

Mr. McQuillan will be joined on the LHR leadership team by Vice Chair David McOmber, Executive Vice President Public Sector & Federal Sales at QTS Data Centers, Secretary Lorna Campbell Clarke, Director of Communications for the Reston Community Center, and Treasurer Roman Blazauskas, Principal at SpeedPro Northern Virginia. Carol Barbe, President of Backflow Technology, LLC and LHR’s longtime board Chair, will continue board service in the role of Immediate Past Chair.

Ms. Barbe served as Chair of LHR for an unprecedented eight years, during a major leadership transition and through periods of high demand for LHR’s services. Her attention, expertise and leadership have been crucial as LHR has continued to evolve to meet the shifting needs of our community. During Ms. Barbe’s tenure she has overseen a radical shift toward healthy and whole food choices, significant organizational growth, and unprecedented demand for LHR’s services, particularly during the height of the pandemic. Her leadership has been invaluable, and Loudoun Hunger Relief is incredibly grateful for her many years of dedicated service.

We thank outgoing directors, Maristeve Bradley, Tom Ciolkosz, and Rose Ann Hamberger for their contributions and board service. All three directors served the organization for ten years and provided key leadership throughout their time.

Chair McQuillan said “I want to personally thank each member of Loudoun Hunger Relief’s Board of Directors. Every person makes a unique and valuable contribution to the organization’s direction and governance through their volunteer service. Thanks go to the directors who have completed their terms and are now LHR board alumni. I am grateful that Carol Barbe is remaining to lend her guidance as Immediate Past Chair. LHR will continue our work to provide high quality food assistance; and to be crisis responders with regard to hunger and food security.”

Hunger Action Month is Underway – Here’s How You Can Learn About the Effects of Hunger!

38 million people face hunger in the U.S. — including more than 12 million children. Did you know that there are around 16,000 people in Loudoun County who struggle with food insecurity, with 49% of these residents ineligible for federal nutrition programs such as SNAP? We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn and understand how hunger affects our community.

 

Take a look at a few links from Feeding America to learn more about food insecurity across the US and in Loudoun County:

https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america

https://www.feedingamerica.org/research/hunger-and-health-research

https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2020/overall/virginia/county/loudoun

 

LHR at Sugarland Elementary–Mobile Market Service Beyond Food


Loudoun Hunger Relief launched its Mobile Market service to the Sterling Park neighborhood of Loudoun County in the fall of 2019. The Mobile Market was originally designed to provide the same groceries as a visit to our Leesburg pantry, but to serve our neighbors right in their own neighborhood. When the COVID shutdown hit in spring of 2020, need for our Mobile Market service expanded rapidly. LHR mobilized to meet that need and more. Since April 2020, we have been rolling our Mobile Market service to Sterling Park and Sugarland neighborhoods in eastern Loudoun on a weekly basis, as well as providing service to Purcellville twice a month. The Mobile Market was providing weekly groceries to nearly 500 families a week at the peak of the pandemic in neighborhoods worst hit by pandemic related job-loss and stress. Continue reading “LHR at Sugarland Elementary–Mobile Market Service Beyond Food”

The Helpers, The Doers and the Pot Throwers & Decorators

It’s 2020, so we don’t have to explain why the Loudoun Empty Bowls event was completely different this year. Instead of a celebratory end of summer night out at the lovely Stone Tower Winery with friends and family, we had a two night drive through bowl pick up.

There were hundreds of air hugs, and lots of quick catching up among people who haven’t seen one another in a long six months.  Puffy clouds floated through a sky dimmed by smoke from far away fires, making for a spectacular sunset tinged with all the worry, grief, and angst of 2020. People were glad to come to the mountain to give help to those in need, and gather up a bit of hope for themselves.

Beauty in the midst of this very difficult year is very welcome. Here are a few photos of the loveliness that is Loudoun Empty Bowls. Let’s hope for a return to gathering and shared community next year. In the meantime, we’re grateful for the helpers, the doers, the pot throwers and decorators who contribute to Loudoun Empty Bowls and the effort to feed those in need.

2020 Foresight! Microsoft in action at Loudoun Hunger Relief, #Neighbors@LHR

What a start to 2020! The play on words is a little tired by mid-January, but we’ll go with it anyway.  A corporation with a vision for thriving communities has embraced Loudoun Hunger Relief’s vision for a community in which everyone has access to adequate, nutritious food. We see only good things to come. Continue reading “2020 Foresight! Microsoft in action at Loudoun Hunger Relief, #Neighbors@LHR”

The Big Green Produce Machine

Last summer, Loudoun Hunger had a dream. We had expanded our produce program to accept more and more from our grocery store partners, our farmer’s markets, and our farm partners. We had such healthy abundance! We were able to supply fresh produce directly to the families we serve in the pantry, PLUS we were networking with partners in the Loudoun Food Providers Network and other partner direct service agencies to get produce in the hands of families in Loudoun who don’t or can’t come to the pantry.The program was great, but needed to be better. We had a dream of an expanded partner distribution program that could reach even more people in need. We needed WAY more temperature controlled produce storage space, and we needed bins and containers specifically designed to transport various types of produce, particularly delicate tomatoes. Continue reading “The Big Green Produce Machine”

LHR Partner Corner: Loudoun County Elections and Voter Registration

Fun Fact: Guess who has offices right next door to the pantry? That’s right! The Loudoun County Elections and Voter Registration Office. We asked our next door neighbor to give us the scoop on elections in Loudoun, and they were kind enough to contribute this guest blog post. If you aren’t registered for the Nov. election, get that done by Oct. 15!

The Loudoun County Office of Elections works year-round to ensure that citizens of our beautiful county have a safe and pleasurable voting experience with the utmost integrity, transparent reporting and accuracy.
Continue reading “LHR Partner Corner: Loudoun County Elections and Voter Registration”

LHR Partner Corner: The Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been active in Virginia since 1972. With a mission focused on “Promoting and protecting the natural resources, rural economy, history and beauty of the Virginia Piedmont,” it is easy to see how agriculture plays an important role in the organization. In 2013, PEC was gifted 141 acres at the crossroads of Routes 15 and 50, which at one point had been threatened by a large residential and commercial development proposal. The property became known as Roundabout Meadows.

The Roundabout Meadows property in 2017 before PEC broke ground on the Community Farm.

Continue reading “LHR Partner Corner: The Community Farm at Roundabout Meadows”