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AFAC: Need for food assistance reaches critical levels

Elimination of extra SNAP payments is piling on top of inflation
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A perfect storm of challenges has pushed more people than ever before to seek aid from the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC).

“Our families cannot get a break,” the social-safety-net agency’s CEO Charlie Meng said. “First it was the pandemic, then inflation, and now the loss of [expanded] SNAP benefits means they are worse off than they were before March 2020.”

For the week ending March 12, the organization served 3,000 families, the first time in 35 years that the number service exceeded 3,000 families in any seven-day period.

Inflation also is raising the cost of the foods AFAC purchases to help feed families in need.

“This double hit is the challenge we are facing – a challenge we will face long into the future,” Meng said.

AFAC offers 18 food-distribution sites across Arlington. For information on the organization and eligibility, see the Website at