On Saturday, March 19, 2022, residents in the county dropped off donations at the 18 Stuff the Bus locations, adding up to 14,273 pounds of food donated on that one day. This was less than the last two collection day, 15,415.68 pounds collected on Sept 11, 2021; and 14,526.36 pounds collected on Oct. 9, 2021. If you were unable to give in person, you can Stuff the Bus virtually by visiting Volunteer Fairfax's Stuff the Bus Donation Page, https://www.volunteerfairfax.org/home/stuff-the-bus-virtual-food-drive/
Items such as canned goods, pasta, beans and diapers supported various local nonprofit organizations including, LINK and SHARE of McLean at the Great Falls Library and McLean Government Center sites, and Cornerstones and Committee for Helping Others (CHO) at the Hunter Mill District Supervisor's Office.
Fairfax County Stuff the Bus is a collaboration between Fairfax County Government and local nonprofits. The event started in 2011 in response to a desperate need to assist local food pantries refilling their shelves after the holidays. Now in its 11th year, Stuff the Bus continues to support food assistance efforts for families and households.
"Stuff the Bus started well before the pandemic to combat hunger in our community. That need has only grown these past few years,” said Chairman Jeffrey McKay (D-At-Large) Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "I am so thankful for our nonprofit partners working tirelessly to distribute food to our residents, as well as the extraordinary generosity of our residents who always make this event successful."
According to Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D- Hunter Mill), the Stuff the Bus is a proven and successful countywide food collection effort to assist the many nonprofits that are on the front lines in addressing food insecurity. “This includes two Hunter Mill District nonprofits – Cornerstones and CHO (Committee for Helping Others). Through the years our residents have generously donated literally tons of food," Alcorn said.
Financial contributions, according to the Fairfax County website, are good for a variety of reasons. Among other things, monetary gifts enable food banks to buy culturally appropriate items, allowing them to better fulfill the requirements of the different populations they serve.
Canned and dried food are essential components of food pantries, but a healthy diet also includes fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins, which cannot be obtained via food drives. Having cash on hand also allows food pantries to keep their shelves stocked at times of year when contributions are low.
Stuff the Bus has gathered over 220 tons of food to serve Fairfax County residents facing food insecurity since its start.