Fairfax County, Virginia


TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035

Al Koroma,
Program Manager

Stuff the Bus

Stuff the Bus logo with tagline "Fight Hunger in Our Neighborhoods!"

Stuff the Bus began in 2011 in response to a critical need to help restock the shelves of local food pantries after the holidays. This collaborative program is a partnership between Fairfax County Government and local nonprofits. Now in its 10th year, Stuff the Bus continues to support food assistance efforts for families and households. Since inception, Stuff the Bus has collected over 220 tons of food to feed hungry people in Fairfax County. The next Stuff the Bus Campaign will take place in March 2022.

Stuff the Bus Virtual Food Drive

For those who are unable to donate in person, monetary donations can be made by visiting Volunteer Fairfax's Stuff the Bus Donation Page. Monetary donations are beneficial for several reasons:

  1. More Meals - Nonprofits can turn a donated dollar into more meals by purchasing food in bulk or through special discounts from retailers.
  2. Feeding Diverse Communities - Monetary donations allow pantries to purchase culturally appropriate foods, which better meet the needs of the diverse communities they serve.
  3. Fresh Food - Canned and dry food are a vital part of food pantries, but a healthy diet also requires fresh fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins – items that can’t be collected through food drives.
  4. Less Labor - Nonprofits often rely on the work of volunteers to sort and shelve donations. The COVID-19 virus has greatly impacted volunteers’ ability to serve.
  5. Hunger Never Takes a Break - Having cash on hand helps food pantries keep their shelves stocked during times of the year when donations drop off.

Tips for Donating Safely at Stuff the Bus infographic 1. Park your car. 2. Do not approach the bus driver or the front entrance of the bus. 3. Take your donation items to the back door of the bus. 4. If someone else is already at the rear of the bus, wait until they have departed before approaching. 5. Place your donation items in the rear of the bus. 6. Leave the bus door open as you depart.

Most Requested Items

If you plan to donate to the Stuff the Bus food drive, please consider giving items from this list. Because the average size of a family seeking food assistance is four people, the sizes indicated are preferred to reduce food spoilage. Additionally, donating items that are high fiber, low sugar and low sodium not only feed hungry people but also contribute to their overall health and wellness. 

  • Cooking oil
  • Corn Flour Maseca 
  • Bag (dry) beans, peas or lentils (16 oz.)
  • Rice - brown or white (5 lbs. or smaller)
  • Canned fruit in light syrup or juice (20 oz. or smaller)
  • Healthy hot and cold cereal (42 oz. or smaller)
  • Healthy snacks (e.g. raisins, granola bars)
  • Canned tuna, salmon or chicken (15 oz. or smaller)
  • Canned tomatoes - low sodium, no salt added (29 oz. or smaller)
  • Soup - lower sodium (19 oz. or smaller)
  • Canned pasta (16 oz. or smaller)
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Peanut butter (40 oz. or smaller)
  • Fruit jam (32 oz. or smaller)
  • Instant potatoes (16 oz. or smaller)
  • Pancake mix (32 oz. or smaller) and syrup
  • Canned vegetables - low sodium, no salt added (29 oz. or smaller)
  • Canned beans or peas (29 oz. or smaller)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has Increased the Need for Food in Fairfax County!

According to the Feeding America Impact of Coronavirus on Food Insecurity projections (published March 29, 2021), the food insecurity rate in Fairfax County is at 7.4% in 2021, up from 5.8% in 2019. That means that about 86,716 people in Fairfax are experiencing food insecurity.

The Capital Area Food Bank analyzed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our region in their Hunger Report 2021; they surveyed people using food bank services and found that:

  • Across the region, people who are newly food insecure (started going to free food distribution locations after March 2020) are more likely to have larger households and children and are more likely to be working compared to those who visited free food distribution locations before the pandemic. 
  • In Fairfax County, about 35% of people who visit free food distribution locations say that most or all of their food comes from such distributions. 
  • Food costs are on the rise, and about 37% of people who visited a free food distribution location said that their household spent $500 or more a month on food to prepare and eat at home.
  • The average amount of money spent per person on food per month is among the highest in the region at $110; only DC and Alexandria have higher average rates.

Food providers are working hard to make sure that their clients are getting food that fits their needs. In Fairfax County, about 90% of people visiting food distribution locations said that they received food that fits their nutritional and dietary needs most of the time, and about 85% say that they received food that fits with their culture’s cuisine most of the time.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant