The Atlanta Community Food Bank works in partnership with over 600 agencies in 29 counties throughout metro Atlanta and north Georgia. In addition, we serve nine counties in the state's northwest corner with food from our Georgia Nutrition Assistance Program (GNAP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Our partner agencies offer thousands of low-income Georgians groceries and/or hot meals. (Effective July 1, 2015, Atlanta Community Food Bank will no longer be accepting applications for partnership from Personal Care Home or Community Living Arrangements programs.)

Currently, the following programs are considered high priority:

  • food pantries (client-choice)
  • soup kitchens
  • kids programs
  • senior programs

Si tiene preguntas o algun otro interes, puede llamar al 404.892.FEED (3333) x1274.


How does my agency become a Food Bank partner?

Your agency must meet all the requirements set by the Food Bank to become a partner, but the basic requirements are:

  1. Must be recognized by the IRS as having a current 501(c)3 tax-exempt
  2. Must have six months of active operations
  3. Must be registered with the Georgia Secretary of State as a nonprofit organization
  4. Must have a sign that indicates both the presence of a food program and the days and hours of operation.
  5. Must be located in the 29-county area served by the Atlanta Community Food Bank

What geographic area does the Food Bank serve?
If your agency is in one of these 29 counties you may be eligible to partner with the Food Bank:






In addition, nine northwest Georgia counties are assigned to the Chattanooga Food Bank.  We serve the agencies in these counties with GNAP, USDA food via our Dalton delivery.






Are there any requirements regarding the number of persons served by our agency?
Food Pantries must be open at least one day per week and serve at least a minimum of 20 hours a month. On-premise programs must serve meals at least once a week.

Does the Food Bank charge for the food? Is there a partnership fee?
While there is no partnership fee and no direct fee for any product donated to the Food Bank, we do expect our partner agencies to help with a portion of our storage and transportation costs. This comes to us in the form of a "Share Contribution," which is a handling fee assessed by pounds of food received. This Share Contribution is never more than 16 cents per pound.

How often and when can we come and pick up food?
Currently, there is no limit to the frequency of trips to the Food Bank facilities. However, there are limits to quantities of some items available during any one visit. Shopping hours are weekdays 7:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (except Tuesdays).

Does the Food Bank deliver?
We do on a limited basis. As a general rule, partner agencies provide their own transportation to the Food Bank's 732 Joseph E. Lowery facility to pick up the product they've ordered. However, each month, the Food Bank transports food to Cartersville, Clayton, Rome, Breman, Gainesville, Dalton, Newnan and Griffin.

What kind of food is available?
The Food Bank receives almost any kind of product that may be found in a grocery store, including perishable and non-perishable items. An inventory list is available online via our inventory ordering system eHarvest. Your agency picks/chooses items for your program based on needs and available inventory. You must order 7,000 lbs/year.


The Food Bank categorizes food programs into two basic types:

  • Food Pantry—community-based, nonprofit food assistance program most often found at churches, synagogues, mosques and social service agencies. Food pantries provide a limited amount of food to individuals and families facing either food emergencies or ongoing food needs. 
  • On-site Program—A partner agency that serves food in its facility to low-income persons, such as child care centers, shelters, and residential treatment programs. They are also referred to as ‘on-premise’.

Community Need
There must be an established need in your community for a new food program. The Food Bank reserves the right to review the concentration of agencies in your community. If a food program already exists in your neighborhood, then it may be more beneficial to collaborate with them. Upon request, the Food Bank will provide a list of other agencies in your area that you may contact to discuss community-specific needs. These agencies may also offer opportunities for you to learn about food program activities in your community via network meetings. PLEASE NOTE: Central Fulton and Dekalb County organizations will be placed on a waitlist and considered for partnership in 2018.

In order to be considered for partnership with the Food Bank, your agency must be designated a 501(c) (3) tax exempt, public nonprofit organization by the Federal Government. An official copy of your organization’s 501(c) (3) determination letter must be submitted with your application. Further explanations will be required if the letter submitted with your application is under a different organization’s name, such as an explanation of affiliation. For more information, visit the IRS website at:

Georgia Secretary of State
Your agency must also be registered with the Georgia Secretary of State as a registered nonprofit organization and be in good standing and in compliance. For more information, visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s website at:

Please understand that no matter what type of food program you establish, you are expected to serve individuals regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, creed, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability status, age, pregnancy, or any group membership.

Food Program Hours of Operation

  • All Food Bank partner agencies are required to follow a weekly schedule throughout the year. An agency must be open during the days and hours reported to the Food Bank. Temporary changes to the days and hours of operation are permitted, but the agency must report those changes in writing as soon as possible to the Food Bank. The procedure is the same for an agency that wishes to change permanent distribution days and times.
  • Pantry programs must have regularly scheduled food distributions at least once a week, for a minimum of 20 hours/month.
  • Hot meal programs must have regularly scheduled meal times at least once a week. 

Public Outreach

The agency must post a sign that indicates both the presence of the food program and the days and hours of operation. This sign must be clearly visible to the public. It may be part of a church marquee or the days and hours of operation may be written on poster board that is at least 8.5”x 11”. In addition, a sign must be placed on the outside door that clients use to access the pantry so they know which entrance to use.

The agency must visibly publicize its presence and days and hours of operation in its community by distributing flyers or by listing its location, telephone number and days and hours of operation in a local newspaper or library. Agencies that serve only specific populations (such as those serving clients living with HIV/AIDS) are exempt from this requirement. We strongly encourage agencies to list with United Way’s 211 First Call For Help Line. Agencies do not necessarily have to use the 211 Help Line, as there may be other ways to publicize. If you need assistance, the Food Bank can make suggestions. 

Program Specific Requirements:

Food Pantry Programs:

  • Food pantry programs must be open a minimum of one hour twice a week and serve 35 or more households per month.
  • The agency must post signs that indicate both the presence of the food program and the days and hours of distribution.
  • The agency must be willing and able to provide food to those in need without requiring the recipient to pay, pray, or work in order to eat or gain admission to the food distribution setting.
  • The agency must post a sign that states there is no fee or donation recommended or required, to obtain food assistance.
  • The agency must adhere to all Food Bank policies as delineated in the Partnership Contract.

On Premise Programs:

  • Childcare programs must provide a copy of their DHR license.
  • Please provide a copy of your County Health Department Report, if applicable.
  • Please provide any Safe Food Handler’s certificate recognized by county.
  • The agency must have operated a food pantry or an on-premise feeding program at least 6 months prior to the date on the application.
  • Prepared meal programs must have mealtimes that occur at least once a week.
  • The agency must be willing and able to provide food to those in need without requiring the recipient to pay, pray, or work in order to eat or gain admission to the food distribution setting.
  • The agency must have a stove with a hood (vent) to ensure proper air ventilation.
  • The agency must have an industrial dishwasher or a three-step dishwashing sink.
  • The agency must have a hand-washing sink separate from dishwashing sink.
  • The agency must have one dial stem thermometer to measure the temperatures of a refrigerator, frozen and re-heated hot foods.
  • The agency must adhere to all Food Bank policies as delineated in the Partnership Contract.

Pest Control Requirements

Food Bank partner agencies must have a pest control plan, a current contract with a licensed professional exterminator, and extermination logbook. The extermination logbook will hold your contract and receipts for each visit.  This must be available for review when an Food Bank representative visits your site. The Food Bank recommends monthly exterminator visits although some sites may require more frequent visits.

Next Steps

Thank you for your interest in partnering with the Atlanta Community Food Bank. It is mandatory to attend an orientation to begin the application process. 

Please check in 2020 for future orientation dates.