Pie feels like home to me. It means stability, safety and family.
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Those in our community who struggle with hunger aren’t always who you think they are. That’s something we say a lot at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and we see the evidence all around us.
“Hunger in America 2014,” a new study released by Feeding America, shows that 46.5 million people in the U.S are served each year by its nationwide network of 200 food banks, including the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Those served include 12 million children and 7 million seniors. That comes out to 1 in 7 Americans who turn to food banks each year for assistance.
It got a little warm at the Food Bank last Monday night as we roasted famed restaurant and hospitality duos Justin & Derek Anthony of 10 Degrees South; Robby Kukler & Steve Simon of Fifth Group Restaurants; Nancy & Mark Oswald of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Scott Strumlauf & Michael Krohngold of Tongue & Groove in our transformed Product Rescue Center (yes, you read that right...our PRC looked like a five star restaurant).
Members of the Atlanta Apartment Association (AAA) know a thing or two about tackling hunger. For the past 27 years, they’ve made the cause a top priority through their annual Food-A-Thon to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Donations are delivered every October in a festive parade that wraps around a city block. This year, this amazing organization raised $1.1 million and 105,000 pounds of food--enough for 6.68 million meals!
For the past 8 years, the Atlanta Community Food Bank has been a proud beneficiary of the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk & Fitness Program (KPCRW). 2014 marks the 32nd consecutive year for this unique workplace-based fitness program and culminating 5K through downtown Atlanta. It is the largest program of its kind and attracts more than 17,000 runners and walkers from more than 400 corporate and community teams. This high energy event creates an environment complete with camaraderie among co-workers.
When we first met Irene, she was receiving food from our partner agency, First Christian Church of Marietta. Irene, a single mom of four kids, two with special needs, struggles to make ends meet. "Being a single mom, so many things just pile up that sometimes I don't know how I manage." As we were talking, she smiled as she talked about her kids, and described how she draws strength from them. "There are times when I just tell my children we're going to have to limit ourselves and they tell me, 'Don't worry, Mommy, tomorrow will be another day.'"
Ellie is a senior at North Cobb High School in Kennesaw who attended the June 2014 session of the Youth Summit on Hunger and Poverty held at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). Over the course of the Summit, Ellie and 19 other teens learned how hunger and poverty impacts their community through educational sessions and activities; they also served the community by volunteering at a community garden, mobile food pantry, and ACFB’s Product Rescue Center. Each student made a commitment to complete a Hunger Fighting Action Step during the next school year.
Leading into Day 4 of the challenge I am falling into a good local food routine and extremely aware of my food and its origin. As I chowed down on my usual breakfast of True Blue Granola (Sweet Georgia Grains) and a Fuji apple (Mercier Orchards) at the Atlanta Public Schools’ District Wellness Meeting, I became even more inspired and reenergized about local food and overall health.
After an hour of shopping and two hours of prepping and cooking, I thought I was fully prepared to take on this challenge. For all of the food I purchased on Day 1, by Day 2 it became apparent I was definitely missing some key pieces to round out my diet. In addition to the local spices, I neglected to purchase local beverages so I have been drinking a lot of filtered tap water. I tried for some skim milk at the market but the vendor was sold out. I also did not account for enough protein, snacks and my sweet tooth.