Virginia Fair Share Education Fund (VFSEF) today gave a Community Hero Award to Food for Others volunteers Karen and Grover Dunn for their efforts to assist families in need and combat childhood hunger in their community. Together the couple has donated more than 2,100 hours since 2008 and has become an integral part of Food for Others, a Northern Virginia food bank and pantry.
Fairfax City Councilmember Jeffrey Greenfield and Food for Others Volunteer and Operations Manager Nikki Clifford joined VFSEF at a news conference to speak about how food insecurity affects families during the holiday season and what needs to be done to end childhood hunger in Northern Virginia.
â€œVolunteers like Karen and Grover Dunn remind us that with one in six children still at risk of going hungry in Virginia, we can and must do better,â€ said VFSEF State Organizer Nick Arent. â€œOrganizations like Food for Others and food assistance programs like SNAP are vitally important to making sure no one goes hungry this holiday season.â€
Fairfax City Councilmember Jeffrey Greenfield added, â€œChildren are impacted the most when school is out as their families do not have access to school meals. School meals have become a major source of nutrition for many low-income students and there arenâ€™t any federal programs to fill the gap during the holiday break as there are over the summer.â€
Commenting on the severity of the problem, Nikki Clifford pointed out that, â€œWith 28 percent of Fairfax County students on Free and Reduced Meals, an increase of 3 percent from the last school year, food insecurity is most definitely on the rise. It takes all of us, non-profits, government agencies and everyday people, working together to insure children have the most basic need of food. Not much else will work for them on an empty stomach.â€