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ALIVE! gave out 30,716 pounds of food to more than 1,000 Alexandria households on Saturday, and now its shelves are nearly empty.

The 50-year-old nonprofit’s next distribution of food will not be until the end of May, although ALIVE! will continue providing food to local pantries between now and then, said Executive Director Jennifer Ayers.

“People can continue to rely on ALIVE! to supply local pantries and community nonprofits,” Ayers told ALXnow. “We are working on increasing inventory and we have seen our referrals for home delivery triple since the shelter in place, and requests for financial support are rising.”

Food pantries around the city are still open, and Ayers encouraged residents to visit Hunger Free Alexandria to see the locations of food distribution points. Ayers is encouraging those who want to help to donate to the organization through the Spring2ACTion online fundraiser on April 15.

So far, ALIVE! has received $20,000 from the city to buy 17,000 meals worth of bulk food. The city also found storage space for the nonprofit to house all of the food. There were other notable donations in recent days, including $1,000 in gift cards from Elizabeth’s Counter.

Last Saturday, families received four bags of food at the drive-thru distributions at John Adams Elementary School and Cora Kelly School.

“A huge thank you to everyone in the community,” Ayers said. “This is truly a community effort.”

Ayers gave a shout-out to the following organizations and volunteers for their support:

  • Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services
  • The Alexandria Police Department
  • The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office
  • The Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Volunteer Alexandria
  • Caring Transitions
  • The Salvation Army
  • Your Dog’s Best Friend
  • Affordable Signs
  • Minuteman Press of Alexandria
  • Del Ray Farmer’s Market
  • Elizabeth’s Counter
  • Old Blue BBQ
  • Lancaster Food LLC
  • Fresh Produce Association
  • Great Harvest Bakery
  • Jen Walker Team
  • Pat Miller
  • Alexandria City Public Schools
  • The Alexandria Department of Community and Health Services

Photo via Alive!/Facebook

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Alexandria City Public Schools have added three “grab and go” breakfast and lunch distribution locations for children over the age of two.

Food distribution at all the ACPS locations has also been limited to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered the school system for the remainder of the academic year.

“We’re trying to really not have families out every day and staff out every day,” ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. told the City Council/School Board Subcommittee in an online meeting on Tuesday. “Last week we had these meals available every day. We are really trying to adhere to the guidelines of social gathering.”

The new locations are:

ACPS is also offering meals at these locations between 8 a.m. and noon:

https://twitter.com/ACPSk12/status/1242855319342067715

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The Cora Kelly School for Math, Science, and Technology has received a donation of 16 new musical instruments.

The magnet elementary school was chosen as this year’s beneficiary from Karaoke in the Capital, an annual charity event hosted by the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) in partnership with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation — a non-profit that donates musical instruments to under-funded music programs.

“I am thrilled that Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation was able to accommodate my request to have this year’s event benefit a school in my own community,” said Bud Jackson, an Alexandria resident and former AAPC Mid-Atlantic president, in a statement.

In total, the school will receive four clarinets, six violins, three trumpets, and three cellos, totaling over $14,000 in value.

“For many of our students, music is a way to feel successful, especially through the difficulties of learning a new language,” said Laura Torchia, a teacher at Cora Kelly.

“With my fifth-grade students, playing the violin and trumpet are small forms of communication, and can help them feel like they are part of a community,” Torchia said. “Music is a way to connect those language gaps and create a sense of belonging and community amongst their peers.”

The Cora Kelly School, located at 3600 Commonwealth Avenue in Arlandia, also received a donation of $10,000 and robotics equipment from Amazon earlier this year, according to The Zebra.

Photo via Cora Kelly School / Facebook 

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Parent-teacher conferences can be a stressful situation for both parties, but a donation from a nearby pizza shop helped ease that stress last week at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology.

A manager at Toppers Pizza (3827 Mount Vernon Avenue) in Del Ray said they received an order for 185 pizzas from someone in Alexandria City Public Schools, in preparation for parent-teacher conferences.

“One store did half, and we did half,” the manager said. “It was just so many pizzas.”

https://twitter.com/CKELEM/status/1194948303722553349

Because it was going to the schools, Toppers ended up donating roughly 50 of the pizzas.

“We like to do that for the schools,” the manager said. “We’re constantly getting calls from the school, so we try to help as much as we can.”

Jasibi Crews, principal of Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, said the pizzas helped out with busy day.

“We are so lucky at Cora Kelly to have such a supportive local community,” Crews said. “We thank Toppers Pizza for their kind and delicious donation of pizzas. They were very much appreciated.”

Photo via Toppers/Facebook

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