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Food Assistance Program


The Hispanic community is plagued by obesity, diabetes, and malnutrition. Many immigrants and low-income families find themselves trapped in “food deserts”: neighborhoods where there are few nearby options to obtain healthy and nutritious food.

The goal of this program is to facilitate access to healthy and affordable food options for our neighbors in need as well as for agencies and nonprofits working with low-income communities in Virginia.

By providing nutritional meals to at-risk populations, we fight hunger and also help prevent and reduce obesity and its consequences for the Hispanic community.

The Program

The purpose of our Food Assistance Program is to offer healthier meal options to people in need. We transform food donations from the Capital Area Food Bank, local restaurants, and local farms, as well as fresh produce purchased directly and at a low cost from farms, into meals that are donated to client agencies working with shelters and homeless individuals.

food assistance children
food assistance

Nutrition in Food Assistance

These meals are produced every day by students from our Bilingual Culinary Training Program. Each student in the program will cook 10 meals a day and all are donated to families living in affordable housing units managed by Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing and to a Volunteers of America homeless shelter in Arlington, Virginia.

Our nutritionist, in collaboration with our chef instructors, has developed nutritional menu options that encourage healthy eating patterns for those receiving the donations.

Each meal is at least 50% fruit and vegetable, with the remaining 50% consisting of lean proteins like fish and chicken. These menus provide the recommended amounts of key nutrients and items from each food group, and with the focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, we are helping reverse the obesity crisis in the Arlington area.


By making a tax-deductible donation to La Cocina VA, you can:

  • Create job opportunities for unemployed members of our community
  • Facilitate access to healthier meals for our neighbors in need
  • Offer fruits and vegetables to those living in food desert neighborhoods


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