On Thursday, Loudoun Hunger Relief teamed up with the Loudoun County Health Department and a variety of community organizations to host a vaccine clinic alongside its regular mobile market at Sugarland Elementary School in Sterling.
Forty-four people were vaccinated for COVID-19, and 262 households received groceries.
On top of the free vaccine and regular food distribution, Loudoun Literacy Council gave away books, Loudoun County Animal Services distributed pet food, and Loudoun County Extension’s SNAP-Ed Educator gave out nutrition advice and icy pops. St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church provided volunteer translation services.
The July 22 vaccine event was staffed by the Loudoun Medical Reserve Corps.
The event was made possible with the help of the county Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services; Loudoun County Public Schools and Medspack.
Loudoun Hunger Relief President and CEO Jennifer Montgomery said the clinic was meant to reduce barriers to vaccination.
“We know that accessing health and human services can be challenging for a number of reasons including transportation, work schedules, childcare, and language barriers,” Montgomery said. “Our goal is always to reduce barriers so that community members can access the services they need, whenever an opportunity presents itself.”
Loudoun Hunger Relief regularly hosts community food distribution events on Thursday mornings at Sugarland, another mobile pantry in Purcellville and pantry services six days a week in Leesburg.
According to Loudoun Hunger Relief, for the last 16 months, the number of households in that neighborhood receiving food assistance each week has remained relatively steady, ranging from a high of 360 households during the COVID-19 lockdown last spring to an average of 220 households currently.
“Many of those we serve have no transportation and struggle with childcare. Some are older adults,” Montgomery said. “We continue to see tremendous need in this community and appreciate our partnership with LCPS to utilize their parking lot and their staff support.”