1 in 10 children in Virginia are experiencing hunger.
Why we started
Founder Elizabeth Ford grew up in Reston, VA. She first experienced hunger around seven years old when the babysitter turned her away after school because her mother hadn't paid the bill. The babysitter was the primary source of food for Elizabeth in the evenings, as she provided sliced hotdogs on toast.
From there, Elizabeth and her mother moved three more times due to evictions. During these times, Elizabeth's primary food source was 7-11. She would sit outside and ask people for quarters to earn enough to purchase hotdogs or whatever else she could purchase that day. Elizabeth's mother suffered from mental health issues and was not well enough to function healthily for her and her daughter. Where Elizabeth grew up, no food pantries or resources were provided to help.
Because of a lack of education, love, and food support at home and school, Elizabeth made finding ways to earn money to survive a priority. She dropped out of high school at the end of her 9th-grade year and obtained her GED. From there, it was a job to job waiting tables. She would work double shifts to get a free meal at work that day and then eventually fell into an abusive marriage, not understanding signs or what "safe love" was while looking for a way out of poverty.
She, later on found her way to become single, work full time, and then went to college online and obtained her BS Degree in IT and made it her mission to help other children that live daily with food insecurity.
Poverty doesn't come in a box. It looks like you and me. It is your neighbor, friend or your child's best friend from school.