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NOVEC Donations Help Feed Local Families

Jonathan Barron, food pantry manager for House of Mercy, prepares food donations for distribution to local. residents in need.

A wide variety of organizations regularly seek monetary contributions from NOVEC. While these general community donations boost charities, the arts, youth activities, and more, NOVEC’s Quarterly Cause donations add a different dimension.

Through Quarterly Cause, NOVEC contributes a total of $5,000 every three months to a type of organization that operates in each county of its service territory. NOVEC’s Quarterly Causedonations final 2023 supported organizations  that address food scarcity in the Co-op’s service area; six food pantries received Quarterly Cause contributions. By supporting organizations that provide valuable services across the service territory, NOVEC fulfills the seventh Cooperative Principle: Concern for Community.

Jessica Root, executive director of the House of Mercy food pantry and thrift store in Manassas, said, “Our mission is mercy, which means helping without judging, without requiring people to jump through hoops to get the help they need. Our clients are in such tough places already, and poverty is very complicated. We want to be the welcoming face, making it easier for them and more joyful to live their lives, even in stressful situations.”

Other food pantries receiving a November donation from NOVEC included:

  • Haymarket Regional Food Pantry
  • Western Fairfax Christian Ministries
  • Loudoun Hunger Relief
  • Fauquier for Immediate Sympathetic Help (FISH)
  • Stafford Emergency Relief through Volunteer Efforts (SERVE)

Root said that her 24 employees and dozens of volunteers served about 54,000 people with free food and clothing in 2022; House of Mercy expects to help an additional 16,000 this year. She said, “Without a doubt with the pandemic, inflation, rising prices, cost of living, and just everything happening in the world and individual families, there is a huge increase in need. We were helping about 10 families per day pre-COVID and now we are serving 90-plus families per day.”