The Long & Foster Companies, parent company of Long & Foster Real Estate, the largest independent residential real estate company in the United States, has announced that as part of its annual companywide Community Service Day, it will support the growing You Feed Others (UFO) initiative at its headquarters on June 4.
This is the fourth year the company has supported the program, which aims to feed school-aged children in Fairfax County – those who typically qualify for free and reduced-price meals – when school is not in session.
Long & Foster’s Community Service Day, hosted annually for 17 years, allows thousands of employees and associates from the company’s more than 170 sales offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions to give back to the many communities they serve. They will participate in a variety of volunteer activities such as working to clean up, refurbish and repair nearby parks, schools, shelters, homes and day care centers and supporting local organizations that provide crucial services to the community.
UFO is a program founded by a Centreville-area teacher who noticed many school-aged children were struggling to stay focused when they were hungry. These students were coming to school without having eaten on a regular basis and she noticed they were often more focused on where their next meal would come from than academics. With the help of Centreville United Methodist Church, the UFO program began distributing backpack kits to qualifying children that contain food to feed them throughout the weekend or a period when school is not in session.
According to the Fairfax County Community Action Advisory Board, 47,874 students in Fairfax County Public Schools – or 26.79 percent – were eligible for free and reduced price lunch for the 2012-2013 school year. And although these students are ensured breakfast and lunch at school each weekday, those may be the only hot, nutritious meals some students’ families can afford.
“We’re proud that the generous work our staff is taking part in will help ensure these children have food to eat when they’re not in school,” said Jeffrey S. Detwiler, president and chief operating officer of The Long & Foster Companies, headquartered in Chantilly, Va. “Community Service Day is a long-standing demonstration of Long & Foster’s commitment to the communities we serve, and the employees at Long & Foster’s headquarters are pleased to be able to help kids in our own backyard in this important way.”
On June 4, Long & Foster’s corporate office will meet to assemble food kits for UFO. The kits will consist of plastic food storage bags that include non-perishable items to donate to schools participating in the UFO program. Each kit contains enough food to feed the recipient for an entire weekend. About 300 employees at Long & Foster will work to prepare the kits for this growing cause.
For more information about Long & Foster, visit LongandFoster.com.