President Obama and Family Volunteer at Capital Area Food Bank Day Before Thanksgiving

Distributing Holiday Food to Children and Seniors


WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the second year in a row, President and Mrs. Obama, their daughters, Sasha and Malia, and other family members and friends packed bags filled with holiday food and distributed them to over 100 children and seniors from throughout the region who visited the Capital Area Food Bank the day before Thanksgiving.

Lynn Brantley, President and CEO of the CAFB, said, "Our visitors were thrilled and amazed when they were greeted by the President and his family. Some of our seniors wept and the kids shouted their thanks. This was truly a special day for all of us. By volunteering today and helping those in need, the First Family made this a memorable Thanksgiving. They sent a powerful message on behalf of those struggling with hunger in these difficult times."

Today's food recipients regularly participate in 10 of CAFB's 700 partner agencies in the region: SEED, Inc., Riverdale, MD; Avondale/Manor Apartments and Summer Ridge Community Center, both in Hyattsville, MD; Shabach Emergency Resource & Empowerment Center, Landover, MD; Gospel Rescue Mission, Allen Chapel AME Church, Faith Tabernacle of Prayer, DC Office on Aging; Children of Mine, Inc., Jubilee at Southern Ridge, all located in Washington, DC.

Those invited to the CAFB for today's White House surprise regularly participate in three established food bank programs. Some 3,226 seniors are served by the Senior Brown Bag program, receiving monthly bags of food and nutrition information at 72 area locations.

Children benefit from the food bank's Kids Cafe program that serves an average of 2,600 children in 74 locations in recreation, religious and community sites and the Weekend Bag program that offers free or reduced breakfast and lunch during the week at schools in the region. The bags are normally packed by some 18,000 annual volunteers at the food bank and delivered by CAFB trucks to the partner agencies, or sites designed to serve children.

A recent survey of CAFB partner agencies revealed that they are experiencing a 30 to 200 percent increase in those they serve.

Brantley emphasized, "We are facing a hunger crisis in the region and throughout the nation. One in every two children in the nation's capital is at risk of hunger – that's 200,000 children in the region we serve – the District, Northern Virginia and Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland. Our many partnerships with the community over the years have been central to our role in educating, empowering and enlightening our neighbors about the issues of hunger and nutrition. The community's continued support will encourage the Capital Area Food Bank to stand behind our mission to serve others 'til no one is hungry."

The Capital Area Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, was founded on January 15, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, in 1980 and takes a comprehensive approach to addressing hunger by increasing access to nutritious food, initiating change through skill-building and advocacy and creating sustainability with outreach and training for those at risk of hunger. The CAFB distributes annually 33 million pounds of food annually, half of which is fresh produce, and is the Washington metro area's largest food and nutrition education nonprofit.

The Capital Area Food Bank logo is available at