ALIVE! gave out 13,000 pounds of food to more than 1,300 Alexandria households on Saturday morning, and the nonprofit is now collecting financial donations for the next distribution.
The food cost about $65,000 and amounted to 4,300 grocery bags, which were distributed within two hours at the Leonard “Chick” Armstrong Recreation Center (23 W. Reed Ave.) and John Adams Elementary School (5651 Rayburn Avenue).
“That’s why we don’t have an inventory. As soon as the food comes in it goes out,” Ann Patterson, ALIVE’s food program director, told ALXnow. “We are giving out huge amounts of food that we haven’t distributed before.”
ALIVE! also needs financial donations to help city residents with paying their rent and utilities.
Patterson said that finding cheap food has been challenging, and that food supply chains — initially disrupted by the pandemic — are slowly becoming easier to navigate.
“A lot of the food that’s available is made for bulk for restaurants, like 10 pound cans of soup,” she said. “We’re dealing with the retail supply chain with 14-ounce cans of soup, not a 10 pound cans of soup. The problem with manufacturers is that it’s geared toward restaurants and hotels. Like, I can’t do anything with a 50 pound bag of rice. I can’t hand that out.”
ALIVE! also delivers food for more than 500 individuals stuck at home, as opposed to an average of about 200 families before the crisis. Additionally, the nonprofit is delivering meals to more than 20 homeless individuals being housed in hotels in the city.
ALIVE! has given away more than 120,000 pounds of food since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alexandria. On April 15, the nonprofit received the top number of donations — $145,611 from 491 donors — in the annual Spring2ACTion fundraiser.
Additionally, throughout next month $1 will be donated to ALIVE! with every purchase of a reusable $2.50 community bag at the Giant Food at 3131 Duke Street.
There will be another food distribution next month, although a date has not been chosen.
Thanks to @AlexandriaVAFD, @AlexVASheriff @AlexandriaVAPD @AlexandriaVATES and @DASHBus for their help at today’s Truck-to-Trunk food Distribution. Extra thanks to the Volunteers who worked all week to pack bags and showed up to pack, load, direct traffic and more! pic.twitter.com/OjtwBrMMoJ
— Alive4Alexandria (@ALIVE4AlexVA) April 25, 2020
We’re working with AlexandriaVA.gov & ALIVE to keep Alexandria fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll be transporting…
Photo via DASH/Facebook