After lengthy illness, Elisabeth Omilami returns to feed the city’s hungry Easter Sunday


After missing Thanksgiving, Christmas and  Martin Luther King Jr‘s Birthday, Hosea Feed The Hungry & Homeless executive director Elisabeth Omilami will be back at work this Sunday at the Georgia Dome dispensing hugs and a meal to thousands of Atlantans in need. The workaholic daughter of late civil rights icon Hosea Williams and part-time actress told Atlanta magazine Thursday that she spent four months at Piedmont Hospital beginning last fall, following a successful run in the Alliance Theatre production of “Broke.” While acclaimed for her role in Atlanta playwright Janece Shaffer‘s comedy-drama, the month-long run clocked in each night at two hours and 45 minutes. Plus, Omilami’s role called for her to fall each night.

“I woke up on November 20 and I couldn’t walk,” Omilami explains. “I was just worn out.” The 61-year-old activist-actress ended up in the hospital being treated for pneumonia, back problems, kidney failure and exhaustion. While she’s technically now back at work, Omilami is still undergoing physical therapy sessions to regain the use of muscles weakened by months on her back.

With more people than ever to feed this Easter Sunday, Omilami and HFTH are still seeking 400 volunteers to help serve the midday meal at the Georgia Dome from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., donate 300 Easter baskets for the expected children and most importantly, kind-hearted folks with a van or pick up truck to deliver the 4,000 Easter meals for shut ins and the elderly.

Says Omilami: “There is nothing sadder in this life than to pick up the phone and an elderly person telling you, ‘My food didn’t come today’ when you’re short on volunteers and you know you could be providing the only meal they’ll receive that day.” While she’s happy to be back at the job she loves, Omilami allows that the work can be frequently overwhelming.

“It’s rewarding to be sitting in a seat that serves so many people,” she reflects. “But it’s also scary because I’m constantly reminded of all the resources we need and it’s never enough. It’s very, very hard to do this work. But we just keep on going here at Hosea Feed The Hungry.”

If you would like to donate your time,  money, food, toiletries, Easter Baskets or can assist with home deliveries this Sunday, go to where you can find an up-to-the-minute list of current needs and information on volunteering.