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'100,000 meals since March' | Arlington accepts $3M in federal COVID-19 relief to feed and house families

The relief funding is expected to assist approximately 4,100 individuals and families in Arlington.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Over the weekend, the Arlington County Board voted to accept more than $3 million in additional COVID-19 federal aid. 

Viewers reached out asking where that money will be allocated. So our QandA team reached out to Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey, as well as a local nonprofit that received one of the grants to get you answers. 

"The grants we picked [are] those that we thought were most needed, and most able to efficiently distribute the funds where they needed to go," Garvey said. 

The board just approved $2.22 million to be allocated to seven different nonprofits throughout Arlington, according to Garvey. She said the other $900,000 came from Housing and Urban Development.

Credit: WUSA9
Real Food For Kids Employee serving food

"[The money will be used] to help people who have lost their jobs," Garvey said. "They're living in subsidized housing right now. They've got some help, but they need more help, because of the pandemic taking away their jobs."

According to Garvey, the federal relief funding is expected to assist approximately 4,100 individuals and families in Arlington. One of the nonprofits that received a grant to help this community is Real Food for Kids.

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"Real Food For Kids is an organization that was founded 10 years ago to increase access to real food for all kids while they're in school," Bonnie Moore, the program's Executive Director, said. 

She said when COVID-19 hit, it was clear that kids who rely on school food were going to face even more food insecurity during distance learning.

Credit: WUSA9
Real Food for Kids meal

"We wanted to provide meals to kids and their families during this pandemic," Moore said. 

But they went a step further. Real Food For Kids has found full-time employment for 16 food service workers who were unemployed due to COVID-19.

"Through this grant and through individual donations, we've been able to serve over 100,000 meals to date since March throughout the Greater Washington area," Moore said. "And a lot of those meals have been in Arlington at nine different meal distribution sites that we've had to date."

Real Food for Kids has a goal of providing another 24,500 meals in Arlington, Garvey said. She said the grant they received will cover about 19,000 of those meals. 

You can learn more about Real Food for Kids and their mission by visiting their website here

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