Provided by Prince William County Community Foundation, Inc.
The Prince William County Community Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to sustaining healthy and vital Prince William County communities. By helping to improve the quality of life in the community, the Foundation promotes community solutions through research and actions that will advance the common good.
In 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that 40 million Americans struggled with hunger in the United States. Of that, an estimated 15 million lived in “food insecure” households, which is the official measurement of food deprivation in America. In fact, a study conducted by Feeding America in 2017 revealed that there are some 28,650 residents in the county who are food insecure; approximately 12,730 are children. Like many school districts, Prince William offers free lunch to more than 26,000 (31%) qualified children. Another 8% of the county’s children qualify for lunch at a reduced rate during the school year. Unfortunately, during the summer months, about 14,000 of these children lose access to good, reliable food.
For those 14,000 children to not go hungry over the summer months, the Prince William County Community Foundation has come up with an innovative way to help combat the food insecurity that exist in the county: the Combating Hunger on Wheels (C.H.O.W.) Initiative. The Foundation has retrofitted vehicles to transport meals to neighborhood children in need. The C.H.O.W. Initiative meals-on-wheels program goes into communities. It brings nutritious meals to local neighborhoods throughout the summer so that no child goes hungry. The goal of the C.H.O.W. Initiative is to eradicate childhood hunger in the Prince William area for those 18 and under.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the C.H.O.W. Wagon has distributed 22,000 meals to over 3,300 children/families. Foor resources are distributed every Tuesday and Friday to children and families from one of the 22 designated school locations around Prince William County. And now that the schools will be going to virtual learning through the first marking period, The C.H.O.W. Initiative will continue to provide meals to children/families through the county.