Walmart Foundation Awards $30,000 Grant to Britepaths Food Bridge Program

June 8th, 2016

Board of Directors Member Catherine Read (second from right) and Programs Director Christina Garris (center) receive a grant check from Walmart Market Managers (from left) George Joyner, Leigh Belcher and Rodney Morrison at an award ceremony on May 26 at the Walmart Fredericksburg on Carl D. Silver Parkway.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Whetzel, 703-273-8829, lwhetzel@britpaths.org

FAIRFAX, VA (June 8, 2016) – Fairfax-based non-profit Britpaths (formerly Our Daily Bread) is honored to have received a grant in the amount of $30,000 from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program. The funds will go to the organization’s Food Bridge Program to provide delivered food assistance to struggling families in the Fairfax County area and help Fairfax County Public Schools that partner with Britepaths provide weekend packs of food to children in need at their schools.

Britepaths Board Member Catherine Read and Programs Director Christina Garris, who manages the Food Bridge Program, received the check at an award ceremony on May 26 at the Walmart Fredericksburg on Carl D. Silver Parkway. Six other nonprofits in Northern and Central Virginia also received funds at the ceremony.

Britepaths' delivered food program has 60 families who reside in Fairfax County enrolled in the program at any given time, and often as many as 12 families on the waiting list to receive services. The majority of the families have two or more children. While participating in the program, they receive a delivery of food and supplies, grocery store gift cards or a combination of assistance every two weeks for approximately four to six months. This temporary food assistance is intended to help them maintain financial stability while they work through a crisis and get themselves back to a place where they will be able to provide for themselves. Britepaths relies on local faith communities, businesses and civic organizations to deliver the food and/or gift cards to 30 clients each Sunday, but often throughout the year there are gaps in the delivery calendar. A $20,000 portion of the grant from Walmart will help Britepaths provide grocery gift cards to clients on eight Sundays where there are currently no organizations available to make the deliveries.

The remaining $10,000 of the grant will be distributed to Fairfax County Public Schools that partner with Britepaths in its Food4Thought Program to provide packs of food to send home with children in need at their schools on Fridays so the children have food on the weekends. ODB is currently partnering with eight schools to provide support and technical assistance so that school staff and volunteers can provide assistance to children they have identified as having a great need. The schools are helping between 10 and 60 children per week during the school year, depending on the amount of need identified at the schools and the capacity of the individual programs. The Walmart Foundation funds will give the participating schools the ability to assist additional children, help the children and their families over the summer break and other long breaks, or give the schools assurance that they can serve the children they are committed to helping throughout the school year. 

Britepaths' Food4Thought Partner Schools are: Cub Run ES in Centreville, Daniels Run ES in Fairfax City, Fort Hunt ES in Alexandria, Little Run ES in Fairfax, Marshall Road ES in Vienna, Mosby Woods ES in Fairfax, Providence ES in Fairfax City and Woodley Hills ES in Alexandria.

Britepaths' Executive Director Lisa Whetzel said, “We are so honored to have been chosen by the Walmart Foundation and the Virginia State Giving Advisory Council for this significant grant of $30,000. The families we serve are often working as hard as they can, but when they experience a crisis they have to make hard choices: should they feed their children, or pay the rent? The assistance that the Walmart Foundation is providing will help ease the struggle for many local families for several months, and also help children in need go back to school each week healthy and ready to learn. The knowledge that we will be able to help so many people who live near us in such a fundamental way is priceless, and we are so grateful for this support.”

“Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are delighted to support [Britepaths] and their Food Bridge Program,” said Brooke Mueller, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Walmart. “Through this grant, Our Daily Bread will be able to reach more families in the community and provide food assistance to those in need. Walmart understands the importance of this organization and is committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve.”

For 32 years, Britepaths has provided assistance and a way forward for struggling individuals and families throughout the Fairfax County area. The organization relies on funding and volunteer support from the Fairfax community to provide supplemental food, financial assistance, financial mentoring and budget classes, an intensive Project BRIDGE program to foster long-term self-sufficiency, the Naomi Project to mentor at-risk new and expecting mothers, holiday assistance and back-to-school assistance. More information is available at http://britepaths.org.

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