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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Help Our Daily Bread provide school supplies to needy students at Stuart HS

Volunteers pack school supplies for Our Daily Bread's Collect for Kids program.
Our Daily Bread (ODB) a nonprofit organization based in Fairfax is seeking volunteers from the community to donate funds, backpacks, and calculators to assist needy children who attend the JEB Stuart and Fairfax high school pyramids.

This is the fourth year that ODB is collaborating with Kids R First, Fairfax County Public Schools, the Fairfax County Office of Public-Private Partnerships, and a variety of local non-profit organizations to purchase high-quality school supplies at a deeply discounted rate through a partnership with the county’s Collect for Kids program.

Through this program, ODB will be able to provide all the supplies a student needs for approximately $15 per student (and often $10 or less for elementary students). Those same supplies would cost at least $40 if purchased in a stores.

Last year’s ODB’s Collect for Kids Back to School Program helped 1,500 needy children in the Stuart and Fairfax pyramids. ODB upped its goal to 2,000 children this year due to overwhelming demand.

Overall, 47,000 FCPS students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. “Their parents are struggling to put food on the table, and the prospect of finding funds for school supplies is stressful for them,” says ODB Executive Director Lisa Whetzel. “We hope the community will respond generously to ensure that children whose families are in crisis are able to return to school this fall with all the tools they need to succeed in the new school year.”

For the third year in a row, the Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads is partnering with ODB to help fund and deliver supplies to Bailey’s Elementary School, Glasgow Middle School, and Stuart High School.

Other sponsors for the 2014 Collect for Kids Back to School program include the International Monetary Fund Civic Program, the Rotary Club of Annandale, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, and Fairfax County History Commission.

Community members interested in helping can make a donation on ODB’s website or mail a check to 4080 Chain Bridge Road, 2nd Floor, Fairfax, VA 22030.

New backpacks and new or gently used scientific calculators can be donated, too. They can be brought to ODB’s offices through Aug. 12, Mondays through Fridays, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., or dropped off at participating Sweet Frog stores during the month of July.

Backpacks and calculators can also be ordered and shipped directly to ODB through “wish lists” on Amazon and Dollar Days. For more information on donating or sponsoring the program, contact Dawn Sykes at 703-273-8829 or

The public may also support the Collect for Kids Back to School Program by placing a catering order with ZoĆ«’s Kitchen Fairfax to be delivered July 20 through 26 or by mentioning Our Daily Bread when purchasing frozen yogurt at participating Sweet Frog stores from July 7-10, 3 p.m. to closing. Our Daily Bread will receive a percentage of sales from both offers.


  1. 47,000 FCPS students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. How does the county determine if a family meets the requirement? Is there a standard that a family has to meet? Does the county ask for tax return to determine if a family is below poverty level?
    Can you do a report on the definition used by county and how they validate it?

  2. Families who earn less than 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free breakfast and lunch at school. The poverty level is set by the federal government, based on household incomes in the locality and the number of children in the family. Families with incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals. The application requires households to list all sources of income.

    1. Ellie,
      But are the incomes verified? If so how? i.e. tax returns?

  3. IMO, the issue compounding the problem is the lack of reporting. I am sure there are many workers who are paid under the table and in all likelihood do not claim those earnings, therefore gaming the system and in essence collecting with both hands. Sure there are folks who are truly living in poverty but there are probably many that if truth be told are not...maybe luxury poor. The mason district needs to stop becoming one big social service center/welfare district. Same with the schools. Perhaps a change in thinking is needed, provide better parenthood and economic information at these centers that are passing out all these free items. If someone comes in looking for 3 backpacks for their kids, I would wonder why are you having 3 kids if you can't afford one. When everything is free without any consequences you create a never ending cycle that will continue to get worse as the population growth continues. According to several articles, the birthrate among Hispanics in this area is 3x that than non-Hispanics, That is huge when you look at it from a larger scale. And now Penny Gross wants to inundate the area with more from the border crossing crisis further overcrowding the schools and eroding education?? Geez

    1. I agree, last time I volunteered at a free xmas gifts for the poor families of Bailey's school, families were driving up to pickup free gifts in Lexus and Acuras..they were driving better cars than mine...that's when it hit me.. how are we verifying/validating that these families are really in need?