Community Impact: Food Bank of Northeast Georgia
Approximately 80,000 individuals struggle with hunger in Northeast Georgia, according to Feeding America. The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia distributes an average of 1 million pounds of food per month to this population, putting about 34,000 pounds of food on the tables of those in need every day.
The Jackson EMC Foundation granted $15,000 to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia in February to support its Mobile Pantry program, which sends truckloads of food to central distribution points where hungry people can get food.
“With mobile pantries, the food is trucked to a community location using a big box truck or a full tractor trailer. Then, we distribute food on the same day and no one has to store anything. We are able to give out much more fresh food that way,” said Elizabeth Penney, grants manager at the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.
More than 20 agencies in JEMC’s 10-county service area serve as distribution locations for the program. Through this approach, 200 to 600 families can be served in just a few hours. Mobile pantries serve food at least once a month, but several offer food each week. Each family receives about 50 pounds of food including dairy, meat, produce, canned goods and grains.
“People have to qualify, but potentially, a family could get food every week,” Penney said. “We want to make sure people get the food they need when they need it.” The food bank estimates the JEMC grant will supply 1,665 50-pound boxes of food to people in our community.