The Prince William Food Rescue was going at a steady pace.
Volunteers were completing about 200 food rescues and moving 45,000 pounds of food each month.
By early March, at least 235,000 pounds of food — more than 118,000 meals — had been saved through the program, which Action in Community Through Service (ACTS) launched in August.
With the Coronavirus came some changes.
Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park, and local organizations — including ACTS — have partnered together to establish the Community Feeding Task Force. The task force provides food to charities and organizations.
Much of the food is coming from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), according to ACTS Development Director and Prince William Food Rescue Program Director Aaron Tolson.
Each week, CFAP is providing between 3,000 and 3,200 boxes of produce that’s distributed to more than 47 distribution sites.
About 1,000 boxes of milk is also received every other week through the program.
The Capital Area Food Bank has been giving boxes of non-perishables.
About 300 food rescues are being completed weekly.
“So, those are people in our community that are using our app to claim a rescue and help us move food from the warehouse to these food pantries, while also doing all of our other food rescues from grocery stores directly to food pantries, as well,” Tolson explained.
Two pop up community kitchens are also being supported by the Community Feeding Task Force. Additionally, food is going to some restaurants, which are helping prepare meals.
Around 160,000 pounds of food is getting moved every week.
Volunteer Prince William has been providing volunteers.
“We’re really thankful for our volunteers, our food rescue heroes that every day are claiming rescues and helping us get food out the doors,” Tolson said.
Becoming a food rescue hero is one way people can lend a hand.
“We always need more food rescue heroes, ready to claim some and help us rescue food and get it to food pantries who can feed people with that food, instead of it going to the landfill,” Tolson said.
Those interested just need to download the “Prince William Food Rescue” app, create a profile, and sign up for a rescue.
You can see how it works by watching the video below:
Community members can also become a volunteer by reaching out to Volunteer Prince William.
ACTS is accepting non-perishable food donations and financial contributions, as well.
Monetary donations may be submitted through the Prince William Area Disaster Fund, which can be found on the Human Services Alliance of Greater Prince William website.
The alliance is a new non-profit based out of Manassas that is made up of human services providers.
Anyone in Prince William County or the cities of Manassas or Manassas Park who needs assistance may call the Food Helpline at (703) 794-4668, between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.