As we near the end of another year, we want to take a moment to thank all of our wonderful Haymarket Regional Food Pantry volunteers who do so much throughout the year to make a difference in other people’s lives. We appreciate all that you do and wish you all the best during this holiday season. (Pictured: Some of our 2015 Christmas Basket distribution elves.)
Planning to do some holiday shopping? If you shop at Five Below in Gainesville between December 13-23 and present our Five Below Flyer at the time of your purchase, Five Below will donate 10% of your pre-tax purchase directly to the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry!
Where: Five Below (Gainesville)
Dates: December 13 to December 23
Hours: Open Monday thru Saturday from 10:00AM – 9:00PM and Sunday from 11:00AM – 6:00PM
Don’t forget to present the Five Below Flyer.
Giant Foods on Linton Hall Road in Gainesville, VA, is hosting a Holiday “Pie Sale” on December 16, 17 and 18 to support the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry’s Christmas Holiday Baskets for our clients. Please stop by the Linton Hall Giant on those dates and purchase a pie for our baskets. All pies that are purchased/donated will be delivered to the Food Pantry for our Christmas baskets. Our thanks to Giant Foods for its continued partnership!
Every summer, the Dominion Valley Sharks swim team devotes part of the season to fundraising for charity. In 2010, the Dominion Valley Swim Team began a long and successful relationship with the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry (HRFP) when John Fellenbaum, Jr., then a young swimmer with the team and now a coach, launched “Can at the Curb,” a service project designed to encourage families to donate canned goods to the HRFP. John placed bins at every swimming pool from June until August and managed the “Can at the Curb” program for three swim seasons, collecting over 5,200 cans of food from swim team families and neighbors for the pantry! In addition, swimmers have volunteered at the pantry during the swim season. In 2012, “Sharks Give Back” program was approved by the team’s board of directors, formalizing the team’s commitment to serving the community.
This year, representatives from the swim team met with the HRFP and learned that although the pantry is happy to receive food donations, cash donations allow the pantry to maximize its buying power because it can purchase food at a steep discount from the Capital Area Food Bank in DC. In meeting with the HRFP, the swim team learned that it would need to collect at least $440—enough money to buy one ton of food from the Food Bank and have it delivered directly to the pantry, eliminating the need to have already-stretched volunteers pick up and deliver the food.
With this in mind, the Sharks launched a “Pennies for the Pantry” drive to make it even easier for people to contribute. The Sharks began publicizing the program at the beginning of the swim season, and asked swimmers and their families to donate money at practice and social events. All of the money collected was primarily in the form of spare change.
“We asked people to dig in their couch cushions and look on the floor of their cars,” said Jeff Klein, the Dominion Valley Sharks Swim Team board member who spearheaded the effort. “People got excited about it! It was a little time-intensive to collect the change, and then spend a few hours after every event counting it, but we enlisted the help of some willing volunteers.”
Jeff and his volunteers made sure the “Pennies for the Pantry” jar was brought to every swim meet and many of the team’s practices and social events. With the help of visiting teams, the Sharks were able to collect $40 to $50 per meet.
Janette Nash, a long time swim team volunteer, stepped up to help broadcast the program throughout the season and keep the pressure on the swimmers. She invited different age groups to compete against each other to see which group could collect the most change at their separate age-group dinners. In the spirit of healthy competition, although each age group rose to the challenge, the teenage (13 and over) members of the team were triumphant, donating over $200 at one time. “I can’t stress enough how instrumental Janette was to the success of this effort,” said Jeff. “She really encouraged everyone to dig deep and keep searching for coins.”
By the time the season ended and the team convened for the annual end-of-the-year meeting, Jeff announced that the Sharks had not only met the original goal, but doubled it! As he began to announce the total, he asked for last-minute donations, and was able to raise an additional $300 in about five minutes at the annual meeting alone!
All totaled, the Sharks were able to collect $1,250 to donate to the HRFP, which will enable the pantry to purchase 5,600 pounds (almost three tons) of food just in time for the holiday season.
Upon delivery of these funds, the director of the food pantry, Pam Stutz, remarked, “Thank you to the Dominion Valley Sharks for their generous donation! It’s so great that they were able to get the kids involved in the fundraising effort! It lets children understand that there are less fortunate people who need our help.”
The Sharks’ goal with this summer’s program was met, but Jeff and the board have great plans for next year. He said, “At the last home meet, one of the parents from the opposing team had just purchased something at our concession stand, saw the ‘Pennies for the Pantry’ sign and bucket, said, ‘Hey, that’s a great idea!’ and took all of the cash that she had on hand and threw all of it into the jar.”
Noting the generosity of other swim team families within the larger Gainesville/Haymarket community, the Sharks will be inviting other teams within their swim division to join them in a spirited contest this summer to see which team can donate the most change to ‘Pennies for the Pantry.’ Hopefully this is a program that other teams can get behind, and the pantry will continue to benefit from the momentum generated this year.
The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry wishes to thank the following organizations for their generosity in promoting Food Drives to benefit local families and individuals in need.
• Gainesville Plumbing for sponsoring a summer food drive to benefit the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry.
• Novant Health for holding a food drive from October 8 to November 19 to benefit the Food Pantry.
• Piedmont Homeowners Association (HOA) for holding a food drive during its Fall Festival on October 18.
• Park Valley Church for holding its annual Trunk or Treat event with a food drive to benefit the HRFP.
We also want to thank the following companies for serving as Donation Locations, providing a place for community members to bring donations.
• Blush Bridal
• Can at the Curb (John Fellenbaum, Jr.)
• Dominion Valley Animal Hospital
• Dominion Valley HOA Office
• EuroService Automotive
• Gainesville Pharmacy
• Skyview Family Medicine
• Smiles of Haymarket
The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry wishes to express its sincere thanks to the following organizations for serving as Donation Locations and conducting food drives for the pantry during the summer months:
We would also like to send special thanks to Girl Scout Troop #6229 for donating new shelves to the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry.
We greatly appreciate all of the continued support that we receive from individuals, families, community groups and area businesses.
Cathie Braun is hosting a Cereal Drive at the Gainesville Giant located on Linton Hall Road on September 13, 2015.
Please stop by and drop off a few boxes to her. The drive will greatly assist our families at the food pantry.
The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry would like to shout-out a note of thanks to New Life Wesleyan Church in Gainesville, VA.
Members of the church recently donated a large quantity of food donations to the pantry. They also delivered monetary donations in the form of money and gift cards. We greatly appreciate their support!
Every Wednesday at 10:00AM and Friday at 9:00AM
Thursday, June 14 at 5:00PM
Saturday, June 17 at 12:30PMThe Food Pantry follows Prince William County Schools regarding closures due to weather.
Please note: New volunteers must submit a Volunteer Application prior to attending training.