Increased Demand During Summer Months

Jun 20, 2024 | News

Food pantries see increased demand during summer months

Many children lose access to vital meals during the summer, increasing demand on food pantries and prompting calls for donations and support.

MANASSAS, Va. — When school is out for the summer, many children lose access to vital meals provided at school. This often leads to higher demand at food pantries during this time of the year. As a result, food banks and food pantries feel the pressure to keep up with the increased demand.

WUSA9 talked with House of Mercy in Manassas, where they are already seeing an increase in the number of families they serve. The group estimates that in 2023, 2,000 children were served through their food pantry program. This year, they have already reached 2,000 children and expect this number to double by the end of the year.

Jessica Root, executive director of House of Mercy, says in the first half of the year, they have already surpassed numbers seen during the COVID pandemic.

“In the past six months our client need has grown by 49%, which is huge,” she said. “However our resources aren’t keeping up with that.”

Root says there is no clear-cut answer for the increase in need.

“I always say poverty is really complicated. There’s just such unique circumstances, usually. It really depends on the person or the family,” she said.

House of Mercy is currently looking for help with donations, volunteering and support in any way possible.

In addition, they have started a back-to-school drive for supplies to meet their goal before the school year begins.

“We have a great back-to-school program every year and it’s coming up in a couple of months. So right now we’re trying to get those back-to-school donations in: new shoes, new school supplies and new backpacks,” she said.

Root said House of Mercy usually helps around 800 children.


  • You can find more information on Back to School here.
  • You can check out ways to help House of Mercy here.
  • You can also donate to a food bank to help with food distribution across the DMV area here
 7:34 AM EDT June 20, 2024
Original Article: HERE