Hunger is a national crisis. Here in Georgia roughly 1 in 9 of our neighbors is food insecure, meaning they lack sufficient resources to get enough food to feed themselves and their families. Worst of all, this affects 1 in 7 children in Georgia as well. Far too many of our neighbors, in our own communities, are struggling with hunger. Many of those affected are neighbors you would never expect: seniors, working parents, college students, and quite possibly the family next door. Often, those affected suffer in silence or shame, which can create a sense of disconnection from their fellow neighbors and their communities at large.
As grim as this may sound, there’s reason for hope. The Atlanta Community Food Bank serves 29 counties across metro Atlanta and North Georgia to help our neighbors in need. Our mission is to engage, educate, and empower our community to fight hunger. Here’s how we do it.
The Food Bank receives food and financial donations from generous donors, including corporations, foundations, other non-governmental organizations, and especially from individuals, just like you. Most of the food we receive is donated by the food industry, including growers, packers, distributors, and retailers. More comes from community food drives. But it’s still not enough to meet the massive demand so we buy even more to ensure we have enough food available to meet the needs of our neighbors.
Getting all this food to those who need it takes a community. The Food Bank partners with nearly 700 community-based, nonprofit agencies to distribute food directly to families in need. These agencies include food pantries, senior centers, places of worship, shelters, on-site feeding facilities, schools, healthcare facilities, and more. Together, we distributed 80 million meals in the twelve months ended June 30, 2022.
But, we couldn’t do this work without the help of our volunteers. They help us sort and pack thousands of pounds of food each day, including 5,000 senior boxes each month. Additionally, volunteers in our new Hunger Action Center can help repack bulk items, such as fresh produce and grains, into family-sized containers. We also have volunteer opportunities at our Community Food Center in Stone Mountain where we distribute food to nearly 600 families each week.
While distributing food is the core of what we do, the Food Bank tackles the issue of hunger from many angles. Our nutrition programs teach families to prepare simple, healthy meals on a budget. Our benefits outreach team helps eligible families apply for state and federal food assistance benefits such as SNAP or WIC. And, our education and outreach team helps build awareness through interactive learning programs, including simulations, for kids K-12, college students, companies, and professional groups.
Since 1979, the Atlanta Community Food Bank has brought together the people, resources, and big ideas to help end hunger in our community. With the help of concerned neighbors like you, seniors will live with dignity, children can grow and thrive, and families will be stronger. Visit ACFB.org today to donate or learn how you can help.