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Discover Fauquier April 2018
Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition:
Filling the Need to Feed
Dave and Judy Raecke recall the day
in 2002 when Heather Greenwood from
the Fauquier County offi ce of the Virginia
Cooperative Extension came to speak at
a church council meeting at Our Saviour
Lutheran Church, sharing her concerns
about hungry people in the area.
"Heather's passion for fi nding a solution
to this problem touched our hearts and
prompted us to fi nd out more," Dave
says. "We've been involved for almost
16 years now."
Joining representatives from Social
Services, community nonprofi ts, and
other area churches, the Raeckes
attended the fi rst meeting that October.
The two main topics of discussion were
developing a food distribution system
in the county and providing better
communication between the small church food closets.
The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank representative shared
information about what surrounding counties were doing
with USDA food distributions.
From that original meeting, the Fauquier County Food
Distribution Coalition board was created. Dave and
Judy, along with Susan Dove from Warrenton United
Methodist Church (WUMC), and Mittie Wallace from
Social Services, are founding members who remain
active today. Having served as president for 12 years,
Susan currently serves as vice president, while WUMC
member Sarah Cooper has fi lled the president's slot
After almost a year of planning, the coalition began
distributing food in September 2003 to approximately
120130 families each month. "Initially the charter
covered Fauquier, Culpeper, and Rappahannock
counties, with 60% going to Fauquier residents,"
explains Dave. "Now Culpeper and Rappahannock have
their own food distribution programs. In the beginning,
we gave away just USDA `free' food. Once we got our
501(c)(3) status, we were able to buy a greater variety
of foods through the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in
Distributions are held on the third Saturday of each
month at Warrenton United Methodist Church. The
third Saturday was chosen because it is often the time
when food stamps run out and the need is greatest.
Local churches and other community organizations take
turns assuming responsibility for recruiting volunteers
to participate in unloading the food deliveries, as well
as sorting, boxing, and transporting food boxes to the
recipients' cars. Currently, 5070 volunteers are needed
each month. In addition to food, families can choose
from clothing and other items collected by Second
Hand Graces (Grace Episcopal Church). Each month
the theme varies, with the April focus being cookware,
dishes, and luggage. Furthermore, volunteers deliver
boxes of food to seniors at Warrenton Manor and to
social services recipients living in local motels.
Around 2006, the coalition began to see a large
decrease in USDA foods. WUMC member Aubrey Smith
recalls, "I read in the bulletin that the food distribution
needed food. Over a three-day period, a small group of
volunteers and I stood in front of Safeway and collected
two tons of food and over $800 in cash and gift cards."
To this day, they continue collecting food at Safeway or
Giant on the Thursday and Friday before each monthly
There are a multitude of ways that individuals can use
their time and talents to make a difference. Realtor and
business owner Dottie Howell has been a board member
for over 10 years and has taken ownership of procuring
the needed boxes each month and picking up donated
bread and produce. "I like helping people, especially
children and the elderly," says Dottie.
New volunteers are always welcome, and in fact, the
group is currently searching for a volunteer to maintain
the website. For additional information, contact Sarah
Cooper, Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition
(540) 905-7227 or visit their website www.
~ Lynnette Esse
Front row: Jane Meadows, Aubrey Smith, Davy Lee, Ron Bowers, Susan Dove,
Miller Bennington, Mike Emery
Back row: Brenda Payne and Dottie Howell
Left to right: Carol Kohler, Mittie Wallace, Dave and Judy Raecke,
and Pat Tucker and Jane Weatherford of Second Hand Graces
wes iseli's magic & illusion
show: featuring natalie; saturday, april
28, 6:30pm. Presented by Orlean Fire
Dept. Fun for the whole family! $10/Adults,
$5/Children 12 & under; or at the door
$12/Adults, $7/Children. Order tickets at
540-364-1410. Fauquier High School, 705
Waterloo Rd., Warrenton.
run or walk: 40th annual
Fodderstack 10k classic; saturday,
april 21, 9am. Event sponsored by
Rappahannock County Parks & Rec
on bucolic road between Flint Hill &
Little Washington. For details:
hospice support: more Volunteers
needed; classes offered once a week
for 4 weeks 10am-1pm. Contact Gil
540-347-5922 or 42 north Fifth
annual plant & seed swap: master
gardeners; sunday, april 8, 1-3pm.
Gardening tips, new plants for your garden
or bring your seeds to share. Warrenton
central library, 11 Winchester St., Warrenton
540-422-8500, ext. 2.
ged classes: registration required;
5:30-8pm. Piedmont Regional Adult &
Career Education Programs. Bealeton
branch library, 10877 Willow Dr. North,
rise against hunger: meal
packaging event; saturday, april 28,
8:45am. Help package meals for children
in need. Grace Church Parish Hall, 5108
Weston Rd., Casanova. Mignonne:
349-4082 or Sheila: 540-272-2990.
alienated parents &
grandparents: support group;
First Friday of each month, 7-9pm.
For those shut out of their children's or
grandchildren's lives. Led by Dr. John
Killinger, author of From Poppy, with Love,
and his wife Gloria. Non-denominational.
Spiritual Care Support Ministry Center, 76
W. Shirley Ave., Warrenton.
kid's Fishing derby: c.m. crockett
park; saturday, april 14, 9:30-12
noon. Fun for the entire family. Bring
rod, reel and bait. Register by 9:30am,
rent a boat or fish from the shore. Prizes
& awards, grades K-3 & 4-7, including
special prize for catching a tagged fish!.
Ages 14 & under need adult chaperone.
For information contact David Symington:
A Public Service Feature