Posted: 7/8/20 at 11:45am. Written by Brad Boberg.
Shortly after schools closed in mid-March, I reached out to a couple of Fairfax County representatives and asked them what the county was doing to provide adequate food and nutrition to children in the community who desperately needed it. There were school buses traveling around providing some meals, but it was only for a few minutes and not much in the way of sustained nutrition.
I then asked if there was anything we could do to help. Before the pandemic occurred we had the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington meeting in our facility, which made us easily eligible for food from the USDA. However we realized that may not be enough, as the economic impact upon our community was devastating. So we immediately decided to reach out to denominational and business partners in the community to expand our reach. Since the vendors were overwhelmed by the demand, it took several weeks for us to get the meals to begin. We started in mid-May with the distribution.
As of Monday, July 6, we have served over 9,500 meals. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from noon until 2:00pm, we provide meals to children under 18 in our community. A vendor provides prepackaged lunch meals to us through a USDA grant, and we have added breakfast to give them each day. Each child receives two meals per day. On Mondays they receive four meals (two for Monday and two for Tuesday), on Wednesday they receive four meals (two for Wednesday and two for Thursday) and on Friday they receive six meals (two for Friday, two for Saturday, and two for Sunday). On some days, with help from the church and our partners, we also supplement the meals with fruit, bread, Chick-fil-A sandwiches, and dairy products.
Ox Hill Baptist Church has been able to complete and continue this ministry through community partners (BJ’s, BGAV, Northstar Church Network, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, Chick-fil-A, Apro International, Pohanka Automotive Group, and ChildCare Resources). Click here or on the above graphic to see a video the church produced about this ministry.
We have been told countless stories of parents out of work or furloughed, individuals struggling to find their next meal, and people concerned with the well-being of their children. The “thank yous” are numerous. And we are grateful to have the opportunity to serve our friends and neighbors.
Brad Boberg is Senior Pastor of Ox Hill Baptist Church in Chantilly, VA.