Updated on May 20th with schedules for Saturday donations and Sunday pickups.
A group of neighbors helping neighbors is operating a pantry at the former Van Ness Walgreens, offering fresh produce and cleaning supplies free to those in need.
The Feed the Family Pantry, open Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., is a collaboration of Ward 3 Mutual Aid Network (read more about their work here) and Feed the Family, two aid groups that sprang up to help those in need during the pandemic. In their work, they saw a need for fresh produce and cleaning supplies.
Those items take “a surprisingly large bite out of family budgets,” said Ward 3 Mutual Aid volunteer Judith Ingram. And they aren’t always provided at food pantries.
The Feed the Family Pantry is also seeking donations of cleaning supplies, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. They are stocking the pantry with unopened containers of dish and laundry detergent, bleach, cleanser, Lysol, Pine-Sol, disinfectants, Windex, sponges, rubber gloves, scrubbers, white vinegar, baking soda – “all the things you use to keep your homes clean.” Donations of high-quality masks and other personal protective equipment are also welcome, as well as toilet paper, tissues, aluminum foil and plastic grocery bags.
UDC also plays an important role in the Feed the Family Pantry. It’s providing the space at 4225 Connecticut Avenue. You’ll find the pantry at the loading dock behind the building, in the alley between Veazey and Van Ness Streets.
Monetary donations are welcome, too, and are tax deductible. Feed the Family is run by the International Women’s Democracy Center, a 501(c)3. The pantry will have a website up soon with details on donating, but there are two ways people can contribute now: through this GoFundMe campaign, and by mailing a check to IWDC.
Make the check out to IWDC and in the “memo” section write “Feed the Family.” The mailing address is IWDC, PO Box 32243, Washington, DC 20007.
And to donate time or request more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We hope neighbors will volunteer every weekend and at the donation drives,” Ingram said.