What started out as a few lunches in backpacks has now fed thousands of local families during the COVID-19 crisis. Every other week, lines of people turn out, trucks show up with supplies and volunteers sort and distribute the food as part of the DC Food Project.
“We’re saving lives,” Mayra Figueroa-Clark, school social worker at Bruce Monroe Elementary, said.
Well before the pandemic, Lucie Lubois and Alysa MacClellan, both parents of D.C. public school students, noticed that some of the kids at their schools needed lunches on the weekends, so they started the D.C. Food Project.
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Then, the pandemic hit.
“We went from about 17 families to now today we’re helping a little over 650 families by providing food every other two weeks that typically lasts between 10 to 14 days,” Leblois said.
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Now the DC Food Project partners with multiple nonprofits and volunteers to bring food to families at eight D.C. public schools. The families are identified by the schools and school staff hand out the food.
At Bruce Monroe Elementary, families got in line well before the trucks even showed up.
“We had one mom who said to us that she was eating oodles of noodles for two weeks. A family of five, three of them being boys. And not like a pack per day per child, but like one pack for the whole family. So when she saw this food, she just broke down in tears. This is what they do,” Figueroa-Clark said.
Those two moms saw a problem and wanted to help.
“The problem that we have seen is that there’s just a lot of gaps along the way and in a lot of the aid that is available and we’re just trying to fill those gaps,” Leblois said.
You can find out how to donate to the DC Food Project on their website at dcfoodproject.org.