DC-area nonprofits provide holiday meals for Afghan refugees

Nonprofit organizations are working to provide resources and prevent food insecurity for Afghan refugees across the D.C. region.

For people who are new to the country, finding community during the holidays can be challenging, but Capital Area Food Bank is among the local organizations that are making it easier to make them feel welcome.

Radha Muthiah, Capital Area Food Bank CEO, said they’ve been putting together boxes with items to fit cultural needs. “We have already packed about 300 boxes of shelf-stable, culturally appropriate food,” Muthiah said.

It’s a massive undertaking during a time when the impact of the pandemic is still significant. The nonprofit has gone from around 30 deliveries a day to more than 70.

“The Capital Area Food Bank is able to scale quickly, and we are able to do so,” Muthiah said.

Health Point Foundation is also stepping up to provide meals this holiday season.

The nonprofit will host a Thanksgiving luncheon for Afghan refugees and their families at the Extended Stay in Alexandria, Virginia, for nearly 400 families, a number that continues to increase.

“We basically wanted to start with feeding 25 people at one hotel but, then the word got around, now it’s 400 people,” program director Waheed Abbasi said. “It is overwhelming but I am happy that we are able to provide meals to that many people.”

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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