Tuesday, March 1, 2016

AFAC: Serving the Community with Dignity

Most of our day focused on food security as we took a tour of AFAC headquarters. AFAC is the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Koube, Director of Operations, gave us the tour.  We learned about how Arlington county's food pantries are run.  There are eighteen centers serving 2200 families or about 7000 people. It was moving to learn that 70% of the people served at AFAC are working, but they do not earn high enough wages to support themselves and their families.  The other growing population is those who are disabled and seniors with fixed incomes.  It was also interesting to learn their philosophy of hunger because they see that hunger usually stems from another problem.  With this in mind, AFAC allows only a one time walk-in.  After this one time shopping experience in AFAC, one must receive a referral from a social worker.  This way the families can also work on other problems that they are facing.  Finally, Koube emphasized the importance of hunger as a basic human right.  All the people who come into AFAC are treated with respect as they go through a shopping experience and get to choose what they would like to get. The dignity of human life is very well respected there as it should be.  It's so meaningful to see other young people making differences in their lives after college.  I think we walked away with some inspiration and see the importance of respecting the people we meet. 


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