Last fiscal year, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and our network of over 600 partner agencies were able to help hungry Georgians in metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia access over 45 million pounds of food to feed themselves and their families.
That worked out to around 175,000 pounds of food leaving our warehouse on an average workday and eventually finding its way into the cabinets, refrigerators and dinner tables of our neighbors.
Hunger isn’t just present in metro Atlanta and northwest Georgia. It’s increasingly prevalent. We know that hunger’s severity in our communities ranges from families and individuals that have to sacrifice the quality of food they eat and, in turn, its nutritional value, to individuals that don’t have the resources to access food when they need it and, as a result, they regularly miss meals and in some cases go consecutive days without eating.
The food our partners are able to provide to the families and individuals who find themselves in these circumstances is often the lifeline that keeps them from falling deeper into crisis.
So what happens when that food is not available, or when it arrives a day or two late?
Like much of Georgia, our work has been severely impacted by winter weather over the last few weeks. In fact, we’ve been unable to open for business 4 of the last 15 business days.
That’s 4 days that food has not been able to leave our warehouse and find its way into the homes of hungry Georgians. Almost 700,000 pounds of food that will be a little late getting to where it needs to be so families and individuals can worry a little less about where their next meal will come from.
We know that the communities, families and individuals that count on the assistance our partners provide already have little room for error in their lives. For some, the weather is an inconvenience, but for these Georgians, it is often a barrier to health, wellness and provision for their families and children, who may be on the federal free and reduced lunch program. So when the sun finally does come out again, the temperatures rise above freezing and the ice fades away, we’ll be working with that reality in mind to make up for lost time.
-Jon West, Community Building Manager