Long-term clients who have a major improvement in their lives bring us such hope.
When this happens, it is a joyful moment and we revel in it with them.
We’d like to share a story or two of hope in the time of COVID.
Continue reading “Pure Joy”
Here at Loudoun Hunger Relief, we hit a dubious milestone at the end of July. From March through July, the first five months of the COVID-19 crisis, we distributed more than 1 million pounds of food. We’re not exactly cheering. Continue reading “1 Million Pounds of Food, 1 Family at a Time”
Here we are, with everyone else, 12 weeks into this new reality. We’re doing our best to supply food to those who need it in Loudoun County. For us, this has meant expanding services, adding locations, fitting more appointments into each day, and radically changing the way we work.
The masks are essential equipment. (Shout out to everyone who provided home ma
de masks for us early on, and to the United Way of the National Capital Area for the box of masks they sent today).
We wear our masks because if everyone wears them, everyone is more protected. But we miss being able to smile at those who need help with food. We miss smiling to make things a little better for people who are having a terrible day. And we miss seeing the smiles too!
Richest county in the country…
Lowest unemployment rate in Virginia…
Highest median household income in the nation…
And yet in spite of the soundbites:
17% of our Loudoun County Public School students qualify for free or reduced price school meals.
Our senior citizens are increasingly at-risk as housing prices and cost of living rises while their incomes remain fixed.
Almost 20% of Loudoun’s nearly 131,000 households live at a subsistence income level.
So here we are, and here we have been since 1991. Loudoun Hunger Relief distributed 1.4 million pounds of food to 8000 Loudoun residents in FY18 (July 2017-June 2018). We can tell you that 40% of the individuals we serve are children under 18. Another 13%, or more than 1000 individuals are senior adults. The people we serve are the working poor, who live well under the estimated subsistence household income level. (See the United Way’s ALICE Report for stats and details at https://www.unitedforalice.org/virginia)
The hungry in Loudoun are those you’d expect: seniors on fixed incomes, immigrant families, low-wage service workers, those experiencing a housing crisis, a medical crisis or a mental health crisis. But there are also people you wouldn’t expect: Federal workers in the midst of a shutdown, the neighbors who have lost one income temporarily, the person next to you at church or in traffic on Rt. 7.
The truth is that hunger is just below the surface, or one or two paychecks away, for up to 26,000 households in Loudoun County. The work we do at Loudoun Hunger Relief is life-giving, hope-giving, critical work. Thank you for being part of it.