Enhancing Lives by Providing Food, Basic Needs, and Self-Sufficiency Programs

Nov 8, 2017 12:40 PM ET

The Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) serves the southeastern portion of Fairfax County, Virginia. LCAC’s mission, to enhance the quality of life in our community by providing food, basic needs, and self-sufficiency programs through the generous support of our community, has reached tens of thousands of individuals in our community since our humble beginning back in 1975.

Working in this community for more than 42 years, LCAC, which began in the information sharing business, now feeds more than 200 families each week through our pantry; educates 30+ immigrants in our twice weekly ESL classes; provides nutrition education to both adults and children in our community, in pairing with our community garden; prevents homelessness through our investment of more than $100,000 each year to keep families housed and warm; through our seasonal outreach programs, we provide more than 400 families, new backpacks, school supplies, winter coats, Thanksgiving baskets and holiday food and gifts; in addition to other educational and outreach projects.

Some might think (incorrectly) that families in Fairfax County who come to a place like LCAC are not working or are depending on “benefits” to avoid employment. This is simply not the case. Senior or disabled adults, folks like Beatrice, an 83 year old who depends on the groceries LCAC delivers each Thursday comprise more than 33% of the households LCAC serves. More than 7% of families served are junior enlisted personnel posted at Fort Myer or Fort Belvoir. These military members and their families are struggling in Northern Virginia on E1-E5 salaries. Working families, single or dual parent households make up more than 58% of the balance of households served at LCAC. These adults drive school buses; work in doctor or dentist’s offices; work in retail or hospitality settings. All of these jobs are important in our society, yet the rate of pay is not always enough to keep a family fed, housed and secure.

Businesses and individuals can impact these families through CFC (#58126) or workplace giving; sponsoring a cereal or winter hat/glove drive; making holiday food baskets for our seniors (more than 147 are needed); or providing grocery gift cards for families to purchase perishables at Thanksgiving or Christmas time. Consider learning more about a local non-profit and how your support can change the life of a child, senior or military member who will not have to worry about hunger this week because of community support, who will experience educational opportunities that will better their lives! You can learn more about LCAC through http://lortonaction.org.

For more information about LCAC, see our website, http://LortonAction.org or contact LCAC’s Executive Director, Linda Patterson, Linda@LortonAction.org or 703/339-5161, ext. 140.