The Heart of Our Operations: Our Volunteers 

As we embrace the charm (and yes, the cheesiness) of Valentine’s Day, we dedicate this blog to the heart of Food for Others – our volunteers! From the fast-paced lobby of My Market to the comradery of packing power packs, volunteers are the backbone of Food for Others. Food for Others has seen thousands of volunteers throughout our 28 years ranging from corporate professionals to elementary school students. Each and every individual has had a lasting impact on the Food for Others mission. 

On a given week, Food for Others serves 3,000 families and 3,900 students – a feat that requires hundreds of hours of work from staff and volunteers alike. Volunteer support is intertwined throughout the stages of our programming: from supporting communications and fundraising to coordinating deliveries and distributions. 

The history and legacy of Food for Others stems from dedicated and passionate community volunteers. What began as Lazarus of at the Gate, a volunteer run organization, grew into Food for Others in 1995. Supported by the Fairfax County Government, these volunteers created a more sustainable way to fight food insecurity in our community through the formation of Food for Others. A few of these volunteers still support Food for Others, coming in weekly to help clients shop in My Market.  

While Food for Others has grown since 1995, embracing 18 full-time staff members and a 13-person Board of Directors, volunteers remain a crucial part of our distribution capability. In January 2024, volunteers accounted for 51% of the work done within that month – that equates to 8,314 Power Packs, 10,032 family members served, and 259,907 lbs. of food distributed from the warehouse. The continued impact and importance of volunteers is undeniable.  

As the climate surrounding food insecurity continues to change, the need for volunteers remains constant. Food for Others continues to see a high demand, averaging a 30% increase compared to years prior. 

Volunteers are the heart of Food for Others; not only do they make our mission possible, but they bring joy to each of our programs. This blog serves as a heartfelt note of thanks to our volunteer community and a call to action. Everyone can make a difference. If you’re considering volunteering but don’t know where to start, check out our volunteer resources or reach out to our volunteer team. 

Thank you for being our Valentine!