The start of the 2021-2022 school year will also mark the end of a nearly 17-month volunteer campaign to offer local residents a free lunch and other essentials in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peter Burnett, local lawyer and founder of the Ampersand Pantry project, told supporters that he chose the start of the school year to end the free lunch program, as students will receive nutritional support through the school system and the Backpack Buddies weekend. program. Her email also noted that pantry demand has started to decline, along with the widespread distribution of vaccines and increased employment opportunities.
Burnett has delayed the start of construction on his coworking space project at Ampersand’s distribution site at 338 E. Market St. in Leesburg, but he won’t wait any longer. When the earth moves to the site, Ampersand will move its operations to the former Virginia Village Mall liquor store for the remainder of the summer, thanks to a partnership with landowner Brian Cullen. Burnett said he did not yet have a set date for when this move would take place.
Since Ampersand began operations on April 16, 2020, more than 103,000 free lunches have been distributed, along with 750,000 diapers, 20,000 pounds of pet food, flowers, haircuts, products. hygiene and free fresh vegetables.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our community and what we’ve accomplished to date. With just a few more donations, I have no doubts that we will reach the planned finish line, ”Burnett wrote.
For more information on Ampersand or to donate, visit burnettwilliams.com/about/ampersand-pantry-project-2.