With the holiday season on the horizon, many people want to make an impact in their communities. It can be difficult to know where to start, but D.C. has plenty of organizations committed to fighting hunger. Food pantries work year-round to provide services to millions of people and depend on volunteers and donations. The Eagle has compiled a list of just a few of those food pantries to get you started.
For over four decades, Martha’s Table has made it their mission to help families on each side of the Anacostia River. Led by the community, the organization provides access to healthy meals among other services. To assist them, they suggest making and donating sandwiches, trail mix or groceries. With the help of the community, Martha’s Table serves 5,000 families each week and encourages people to donate via mail, phone or online.
Available to senior citizens, families, individuals and veterans, So Others Might Eat (SOME) provides services to families in the DMV in order to combat poverty and homelessness. SOME focuses on providing specialized paths for families or individuals to provide them with what they need.
Bread for the City
In addition to providing food services, Bread for the City provides clothing, medical care and social services for D.C. residents in need. They accept donations online or by mail, and welcome volunteers who are willing to help sort clothing, bag food items and provide office support such as scanning, data entry and filing. Bread for the City attempts to cultivate its vision for the D.C. community with the help of volunteers, online donors and those who provide goods and services.
Founded in 1979, Thrive DC was originally titled “the Dinner Program for Homeless Women'' but has changed their title as the organization grew. On their website, there is a page to sign up as a volunteer, as well as a comprehensive list of tasks such as organizing donations, preparing and serving meals and sorting mail. Its goals are to help people in the community so they can expand their opportunities and become independent.
Capital Area Food Bank
Capital Area Food Bank serves as an umbrella non-profit in the DMV area. They partner with over 450 organizations to serve millions of people. They rely on staff and volunteers to operate their distribution center so people have access to food. The organization focuses on nutrition, wellness, farming and gardening in order to provide as much fresh produce as possible. Capital Area Food Bank calls for people to recognize that poverty and food insecurity can only be overcome if the community addresses bigger systemic issues.
These organizations work closely with the community to provide them with food and the ability to fulfill their other needs. No matter the time of year, these organizations rely on community members to give back in order to combat some of the city's most pressing issues such as food insecurity.
Many find themselves wanting to give back during the holiday season and these organizations are wonderful choices for those seeking volunteer opportunities or places to make a donation.