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Monday, February 10, 2020

Annandale shoppers replenish ACCA food pantry

Student volunteers Eva Gomez of Annandale High School (left) and Charlotte Prunty of Irving Middle School encourage shoppers at the Annandale Giant to buy a little extra for the Stuff the Bus campaign. 
The food pantry operated by the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) received 2,463 pounds of food, in 88 boxes, thanks to the generosity of local shoppers who responded to the Stuff the Bus campaign Feb. 8.

Stuff the Bus is a collaborative effort of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Fastran, and nonprofit organizations. Twelve Stuff the Bus events are scheduled for February at local supermarkets around the county. The public is encouraged to buy some extra food, which is collected in a Fastran bus and delivered to a local food bank.

Community members filled up a Fastran bus at the Annandale Giant.
The Stuff the Bus event in Annandale will be a great help in filling some of the empty shelves at the ACCA food pantry, said Mary Lee Di Spirito of ACCA. At the end of the day, “the bus was totally filled with boxes,” she said, also expressing gratitude to Giant for donating a lot of food, too.

Rather than having community members pick up food themselves, the ACCA food pantry delivers food – along with toiletries and paper goods, such as diapers – to families and individuals in need. In 2019, ACCA made 643 deliveries to households that included 1,870 men, women, and children.

Ro Pauline (left) of Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services and Mary Lee Di Spirito of ACCA.
Each delivery consists of a seven to 10-day supply. An additional 450 families were assisted with a three to five-day supply. Referrals come from social workers, schools, churches, other organizations, and concerned neighbors. ACCA relies on approximately 100 volunteers to keep this program going.

There will be six additional Stuff the Bus events in February, including Feb. 15 at the Springfield Giant and Feb. 29 at the Cardinal Forest Giant in Springfield. See the complete schedule here

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