Cornerstones continues federal program to provide free, reduced meals

Men helping at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter (Via Cornerstones)

The Reston-headquartered nonprofit Cornerstones is continuing to give free meals to those in need, thanks in part to federal money.

The money assists kids at the nonprofit’s Laurel Learning Center (11484 Washington Plaza West, Suite 200) as well as homeless people and others experiencing emergencies at the 24/7 Embry Rucker Community Shelter (11975 Bowman Towne Drive).

Kids receive hot lunches and two snacks per day, and the learning center is currently accepting additional families, adding to the 92 children there, Cornerstones spokesperson Margaret Anne Lara said in an email.

The community shelter serves three hot meals and a snack each day to guests.

The two facilities have been involved in the federal program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), for over 20 years. The U.S. Agriculture Department’s Food and Nutrition Service provides reimbursements to participating facilities.

“By participating in the CACFP, Cornerstones Laurel Learning Center and Embry Rucker Community Shelter can increase the quality of the meals served and provide more nutritious options,” Lara wrote.

Annual income for individuals must be at or below $16,777 for free meals and $23,828 for reduced price meals. Two-person household max incomes are $22,646 and $32,227, respectively, three-person households are $28,548 and $40,626, accordingly.

For larger families, add $5,902 for each family member for free meal income eligibility and $8,399 for each family member for reduced meals.

The nonprofit also operates one of the largest food pantries in northwest Fairfax County and provides other social services.

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