About Us

Fauquier FISH has been operating in Fauquier County since 1983, becoming a 501(c)(3)nonprofit tax exempt charity in 2000. The organization is run entirely by a dedicated group of 50+ volunteers who embody FISH’s mission of ‘Neighbors helping neighbors with kindness and respect just as we would want to be treated in a time of need.’

To facilitate this mission, FISH provides a range of services to county residents. Programs include food pantry distribution, Book Bag & School Supply drive, Weekend Power Pack meals for Fauquier County school children, Senior Meals delivered to the Warrenton Senior Center, Farmers Market Program, and holiday food baskets. Across all programs, FISH serves over 2,000 individually annually. FISH’s board of directors includes a combination of both newer members to the organization as well as seasoned volunteers. Each board member brings a unique skill set to the table and displays a dedication to improving the quality of life for all residents of Fauquier County.

Our nutrition focused food pantry committee has completely transformed the food pantry and eliminated many of the highly processed, low nutrient foods typically distributed by food banks. Our volunteers package DASH (Delicious, Affordable, Simple and Healthy) meals that come with all the ingredients, meat, vegetables, and seasoning to make a satisfying meal for the family. Alternate menus help clients with certain medical conditions to focus on how healthy eating can have a positive effect and improve overall wellness. Every dollar that is donated to Fauquier FISH is stretched as far as it will go providing families with a week’s worth of food each time they visit the food pantry.

We provide educational information to our clients as well and sit with them to answer any questions they have while their grocery orders are being filled.

We provide volunteer opportunities for other community organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts and senior groups. Our volunteers also regularly bring their children to help out at the pantry, ensuring the practice of community giving is continued.

To request our IRS Tax form 990 or IRS Tax form 1023, please email info@fauquierfish.org.

Executive Director

Charity Furness
Executive Director, Fauquier FISH
Charity is an Orange County High School graduate with a degree in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University. She and her husband Steve have called Warrenton home for over a decade. Charity brings a wealth of leadership experience to Fauquier FISH, having served the last three years as Executive Director of Experience Old Town Warrenton (EOTW). Charity is the founding director of Fauquier FISH’s Weekend Power Pack program and served as the volunteer Executive Director of FISH from 2015-2018 and board member from 2018-2021.

Our Board

Megan Oakley, Board Chair
Team Member, Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health (FRESH), Warrenton, VA
A graduate of Fauquier’s Liberty High School, Megan Oakley moved back to Fauquier County in 2013. After nearly two decades in the field of criminal justice project management, overseeing millions of dollars in externally funded projects, she took a position within the county’s school system. In her current role, Megan writes grants supporting nutrition, movement, and literacy programs for Fauquier children. Megan began volunteering with FISH in January of 2014, serves as Co-Director of the Weekend Power Pack Program, and handles all of the organization’s grant writing, reporting, and volunteer recruitment.

Rachael Brinson, Secretary
Town of Remington Clerk/Deputy Treasurer, Remington, VA
Rachael Brinson moved to Remington in 2007 with her husband and 4 children. She began volunteering at FISH’s food pantry in 2014 and in 2017 began delivering bags for the Weekend Power Pack program. Most recently, Rachael has taken on volunteer shopping commitments for FISH’s newest initiative, the Senior Supplemental Nutrition Program. Since 2017, Rachael has organized and led FISH’s annual Book Bag and School Supply drive. When not working or at FISH, she also devotes her time to Remington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Auxiliary, Remington Community Gardens, and the Remington Fall Festival. Rachael is also a member of the Virginia Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators Executive Board.

Elaine Harris, Treasurer
Management Accountant, Small Business Support Services, Warrenton, VA
A Warrenton resident since 1984, Elaine Harris is an Accountant, a QuickBooks Coach and owner of Small Business Support Services. Elaine has volunteered with Fauquier FISH since 2000. She was the driving force behind the 2015 transformation of the food bank into the nutrition focused Fauquier FISH Food Pantry and is the creator of the DASH Meals Program.

Julie Jones, Director, Senior Services
Retired Insurance Analyst, Inova Health System
Julie Jones has called Fauquier County her home for the last 40 years. Julie first volunteered with Fauquier FISH in 2017, maintaining a consistent presence at both food pantry and Weekend Power Pack sessions. In September of 2021, she began leading FISH’s monthly Senior Supplemental Nutrition Program in partnership with the Department of Social Services. Her husband, Gordon also volunteers with the organization. Julie also devotes her time to Northern Virginia Food Rescue and the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

Maggie Massie, Director, Food Procurement
Instructor, Northern Virginia Community College, Fairfax, VA
An instructor at Northern Virginia Community College and resident of Fairfax County, Maggie Massie commutes to FISH 2 or 3 times a week. Having joined the ranks at FISH in 2012 as a coupon shopper she now serves as the Food Procurement Director, and helps make sure the shelves are full each week to serve the clients. “I used to shop for a family of 7, but now I shop for about 200 or more families per month!”

Erin Smith, Director, Children Services
Web Developer, CSW Superior IT Solutions, Warrenton, VA
Erin Smith has a degree in software engineering from Bucknell University. After 8 years in software development at Raytheon, she and her husband Matt moved to Warrenton to start a family in 2011. She has spent the last 6 years volunteering with Fauquier FISH. Erin has served as the director of Fauquier FISH’s Weekend Power Pack program since January 2017 and became a member of the board in 2018.

Chelby Steadman, Director, Family Services
Chelby Steadman is a Tennessee native who has called Warrenton her home since 2020. Chelby has always been passionate about helping others. She and her husband Kyle were a Navy family from 2010-2020. During this time they looked after many of the single sailors who lived on the same base, while also raising their own two children. During deployments, Chelby acted as a liaison to families, providing information and support, while also arranging for the assembly of care packages for shipment overseas. She is currently working towards her Bachelors in nursing and hopes to one day work for the Veterans Affairs Hospital. Chelby has volunteered with FISH since 2022, naturally rising into a leadership role at the Food Pantry and joining the Board in January of 2023.

Chrissi Gore, Director, Community Outreach
Chrissi Gore is a graduate of Liberty High School, moving back to Fauquier County in 2012. She and her husband, Brandon have called Warrenton home for the last eight years. Prior to starting a family, Chrissi worked in pediatric healthcare for over a decade and has a true passion for helping others. Chrissi began volunteering with FISH’s Weekend Power Pack program in 2020 and now co manages the Food Pantry. When she’s not helping serve the community, you can find Chrissy spending time with family and friends and enjoying the great outdoors.

Our Mission

Neighbors helping neighbors with kindness and respect just as we would want to be treated in a time of need.

Our Vision

We envision Fauquier County as a place where no one goes hungry and anyone in need has a place to turn.

Our Values

Nutrition: The most economically poor are also the most nutritionally poor. We aim to provide DASH meals, delicious, affordable, simple, and healthy meals.

Empowerment: We provide the tools and means necessary for our clients to build confidence while also providing a safe and welcoming environment with no judgement.

Advocacy: We will be a voice in the community about hunger and nutrition.

Respect: We are neighbors helping neighbors; treating others as we would want to be treated.

Collaboration: Together as a community, we can achieve a greater good.

Integrity: We act with honesty, trust, and openness with donors, volunteers, clients, and within the law.

Humility: We understand no one is protected from unforeseen circumstances that may result in a need for help.