Mission & History
Arlington EATS envisions an engaged and active community in which everyone has access to sufficient and nutritious food and understands the causes and effects of food insecurity.
Arlington EATS’ MISSION is to engage the community in eliminating food insecurity and hunger in Arlington.
JUST Compassionate Connected Respectful
The Arlington Food Pantry started in 1991, during the first Iraqi War, when a group of individuals from the Town, churches, and community feared that necessities, like fuel and food, may be rationed. After an initial food drive, the group realized that hunger was an ongoing issue in Arlington and the food pantry became a monthly service and was located in the basement of Church of Our Saviour in East Arlington for 26 years.
In 2014, a group of churches, nonprofits, and the Town met to discuss food needs in Arlington. Out of that discussion the food pantry hired its first staff member and opened a second site at 117 Broadway with more frequent and improved accessibility. Another outcome of the discussion was a group of parents and school staff formed the original Arlington EATS and started a summer lunch program for families who rely on school meals to keep their kids fed. The program eventually added a snack program at all the Arlington public schools and a monthly community dinner.
In 2017, Arlington EATS and the Arlington Food Pantry merged to accomplish one incredible mission, to engage the community in eliminating food insecurity and hunger in Arlington.
In 2019, the Arlington EATS Market temporarily moved to St. John’s Church, 74 Pleasant St, while the building on Broadway was demolished and reconstructed by the property owner, Housing Corporation of Arlington. This four story building will provide needed affordable housing units and the first floor will become the EATS headquarters. EATS is currently raising funds to build out this space with plans to move in the fall of 2021.
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Arlington EATS led a coalition of local agencies to respond to the need. For the health and safety of our community, EATS suspended in person programs and launched a home delivery program to ensure that all Arlington residents had access to nutritious and sufficient food.
Today Arlington EATS distributes over 9,000 pounds of food to 270 households every week.