Skip to content

Arlington Food Assistance Center marks 2 millionth family served

Client base is up 30% each year over past two years

The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) on June 5 marked the 2-millionth family serviced in its history.

And needs are intensifying.

“This year [fiscal 2024], we are serving 30 percent more families than last fiscal year, which was 32 percent higher than the previous year,” the safety-net organization noted.

It took 23 years for AFAC to serve its first 500,000 clients. It then took five years to serve the next 500,000 (1 million in total), and another five years to serve the following 500,000 clients (1.5 million in total). It has only taken three years for AFAC to serve the remaining 500,000 clients that has now resulted in the total of 2 million clients served.

In 2008, when Charlie Meng assumed the post of executive director, the organization served just over 40,000 families annually. The estimate for the current fiscal year is 180,000 families –  an increase of 447 percent.

The increase in need has resulted in higher costs: In fiscal 2023, AFAC overspent its food budget by nearly $600,000, and so far this fiscal year, it has spent $700,000 more than budgeted.

More than 90 percent of the organization’s $10 million annual budget is funded through donations, with about 8 percent coming from the Arlington County government.

For information, see the Website at