The Dulles South Food Pantry (DSFP) is an emergency-relief pantry that provides nutritious food, personal supplies and other services to those in need in Dulles South and the surrounding area. DSFP works with Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and Feeding America to support its programs and distributed over 135,000 pounds of food in 2016. DSFP’s Friday Food Packs Program provide weekly bags of food for more than 125 students at 12 local schools so they won’t be hungry over the weekend.
Along with its impact on area youth and families, DSFP has recently expanded its boundaries to serve a wider area of Loudoun County, invested in additional freezer space and purchased a floor scale to lessen the burden on their volunteers and improve guest wait times.
To create more efficiencies to support the thousands it serves every year, DSFP submitted a grant proposal to 100WomenStrong for a kitchen renovation project and to expand seasonal storage, as well as to hire a part-time operations manager, during 2017.
According to Charlene Jones, DSFP president, the facility improvements will help DSFP to do even more in southeast Loudoun County.
“We needed to consolidate our facilities to make it easier for our volunteers to serve others,” Jones explained. “For example, our freezers are in a building outside our Distribution area, but – by renovating the kitchen space – we brought a freezer inside, thus reducing the need to load frozen goods into coolers, haul them into the kitchen area, make multiple runs between our Distribution area and the outside building, etc.”
“Thanks to the grant from 100WomenStrong, our volunteers can better serve the needs of the approximately 50 families we distribute food to each Wednesday at the pantry,” she said.
An additional industrial freezer affords DSFP the opportunity to serve more families as the density in Dulles South continues to rise, Jones added.
“In the past, we have had to turn down some donations of protein – ground meat, for example – because we didn’t have the space or there was a chance of spoilage during our Wednesday distribution because we had to haul food from one location to another and there wasn’t a place to keep it cold in the distribution area. The grant from 100WomenStrong has taken care of that logistical problem, and we hope to expand the number of families we can serve!”
See photos of the completed kitchen expansion at DSFP: http://mailchi.mp/dsfp/dulles-south-food-pantry-august-2017-newsletter