A Northern Virginia family that initially placed a food collection box outside their home at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has now collected around 30,000 pounds of food and started a program that puts pop-up, free food pantries in local neighborhoods.
Amber and Sterling Marchand and their four young children put the box outside their home last June after reading about the increased demand for food for people in need due to the pandemic, Good Morning America said.
The box filled up so quickly with nonperishable foods donated by neighbors and friends that the family decided to do more, Amber Marchand told “Good Morning America.”
“We realized that as much as a need was there, there was also a desire to help,” she said. “We started to reach out to local nonprofits to donate the food and create relationships.”
One of the nonprofits the family reached out to was Martha’s Table, where they made 250 sandwiches for the organization.
Then in July, the Marchands launched their own nonprofit organization, Be The Good Project, to raise money and use it to purchase food in bulk.
People continued to drop off donated food in the box at their home, which became the Be The Good Project’s headquarters.
Through their nonprofit, the Marchands continue to donate between 500 and 600 pounds of food per week to local families, schools, and nonprofit organizations.
The couple plans to keep expanding their efforts as much as they can.
“We know that this need for food is not going to go away even as we’re able to return to what we seemingly see as normal,” said Amber Marchand.
“It’s going to be here for a long time, and this is hopefully going to be an outlet for people to continue to help one another.”