A Mural for the People: APAH’s Food Pantry Opens its Doors

The People’s Pantry will provide supplemental food that is nutritious and culturally appropriate for residents. The low-barrier food pantry, which is located within APAH’s The Springs Apartments, is intended to be warm and welcoming for those who live across APAH’s communities. APAH converted a conference room into the pantry, putting mission into action. We thank Share our Strength, who generously provided funding to retrofit and stock the pantry.

The food pantry will complement APAH’s long-standing partnership with Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), which hosts crucial food distributions onsite at multiple APAH properties, in addition to distributions held at AFAC’s headquarters. Residents can access the People’s Pantry outside of AFAC’s operating hours.

Art is an important component of the pantry. A mural covers each wall with words and phrases painted in different languages like Spanish, Mongolian, and Amharic. Colorful images of fresh produce and smiling children create an inviting atmosphere for all residents to enjoy.

Mary Finney, artist, who completed the
People’s Pantry mural.

Muralist Mary Finney shared, “Artists are translators. Artists interpret the world in our own way and create something that others can understand and relate to.” Mary wanted the art in the pantry to reflect the people who live in APAH’s communities.

Mary hopes the mural will facilitate conversations among neighbors and bring people together. Both art and food provide opportunities for people to see a different perspective and gather around the table together.

Mary’s day job is teaching art at D.C. Public Schools. She moved to D.C. a year ago and shared two things she appreciates about the region – the opportunities available to all and the diversity of neighbors.