In 2020, Amber and Sterling Marchand started a small food drive in the Mount Vernon District to teach their young children how to serve neighbors during the pandemic. The overwhelming outpouring of support and generosity from the community inspired the Marchands to create the Be The Good Project, a grassroots-fueled non-profit that connects volunteers with safe, easy ways to help feed their neighbors.
Today, Be The Good offers three volunteer opportunities: make seasonal non-perishable care packages, make sandwiches for the homeless, and fill the Little Free Food Pantries with non-perishable food. Since July 2020, its volunteers have donated more than 52 tons of food and 107,000 sandwiches. Be The Good has also donated $44,000 in grocery gift cards to help thousands of local families.
Partnerships have widened their outreach, providing an opportunity for anyone to give back. Today, they have more than 1,500 volunteers and dozens of partnerships with local non-profit organizations and schools. Since November 2022, more than 4,400 individual bags of food have been donated through this network.
In March 2020, the Marchands started their Little Food Pantries, which now number 28 throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC. Sponsored by different families and stocked with unexpired, non-perishable food, the pantries’ motto is Take What You Need, Leave What You Can. The Marchand family also delivers hundreds of sandwiches, made by volunteers, each week to Martha’s Table.