Editor: About three months ago, I became aware that hunger and food insecurity exist in Loudoun County—one of the wealthiest counties in America. I felt the need to do something about that, and began an effort to raise food and funds for Loudoun Interfaith Relief, Loudoun’s largest food pantry. Friends and neighbors in Ashburn rallied to the cause, and we formed Ashburn Cares, an all-volunteer, grassroots effort to help our neighbors in need with food resources.
An amazing group of people came together. Darryl and Tiffany Tapp stepped forward to offer a dollar for dollar funding match up to $10,000. Legacy Elementary School and its PTO contributed to the effort with a food drive and fund collection effort. The community rallied, and Ashburn came together to prove it truly does care.
The community raised $10,000 to rise to the challenge from the Tapp family, and Loudoun Interfaith Relief will receive $20,000 total from this effort. 3000 pounds of food was donated—a tremendous undertaking.
In the process, we learned that Loudoun Interfaith Relief served almost 17,000 people last year, with 1.3 million pounds of food distributed. Forty-three percent of those people are children, and another 7 percent are seniors. We learned that hunger doesn’t take a vacation, and that our efforts will help to feed at-risk children all summer long. We learned that it feels terrific to give and help.
The individuals involved in Ashburn Cares have pushed this grassroots project to a level beyond what we could have imagined. We are so pleased to be a part of alleviating food insecurity in Loudoun County. We are fortunate to be in a position to help our neighbors. And we encourage other neighborhoods groups to do the same.
Kenneth W. Courter, Ashburn