Last year, C3 Integrated Solutions supported the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) with a financial donation, and a promise to match that donation with volunteer time as soon as it was safe to gather again in-person.
With a vaccinated team, and with AFAC recently re-opening to volunteers, C3 was excited to make good on that promise. On June 18th, the C3 team headed to AFAC’s warehouse and volunteer center along Four Mile Run in Shirlington, excited to support this great community organization, and to see each other for the first time in over a year.
The COVID pandemic shed new light on vulnerable members of communities all across the country, and exposed food insecurity in even the most affluent places. Arlington, Virginia – our hometown – is no different. AFAC provides dignified access to over 80,000 pounds of food to nearly 2,400 families in need each week in Arlington, VA and have been working in the community since 1988. One-third of those clients are children, and more than 15% are elderly. Supplemental groceries from AFAC mean that families can remain in their homes, workers can stay on the job, children are ready to learn, and mothers and babies have the nutrition they need.
AFAC offers something different to every volunteer group – and as a team, we were eager to do whatever needed to be done that day. Turns out, bagging beans was on the docket: breaking down large 50 lb. sacks of black beans into individual serving bags that could be easily distributed to clients. Our group broke into teams and we quickly turned the giant sacks into over 1000 bags that would become part of a selection of supplemental groceries, along with fresh fruits and vegetables and other delicious staples. AFAC prides itself in dignified access to food for their clients; they can choose to visit the AFAC warehouse and select groceries from racks and aisles as they would a grocery store, or clients can simply pick up a complete sack of groceries from one of AFAC’s satellite distribution centers.
After our volunteer work was done, the C3 team headed local sports bar Dudley’s, where we enjoyed time catching up with each other – finally – in person! (Curiously, no beans were ordered.) It was great to come together to support a great cause, get to know our new team members and reconnect with old friends after so many months apart.
If your company is interested in supporting AFAC, you can learn more about the organization here. We encourage your company to get involved in your local community and we’d love to hear more, share and promote the ways our clients choose to give back.