11:50 AM

Community Impact: Georgia Mountain Food Bank

Delivering Groceries & Hope in Hall County

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank believes that hunger affects an entire community and that it takes a village to bring it to an end, according to Executive Director Kay Blackstock.

By supplying the Food Bank with a $13,000 grant for its new Neighborhood Grocery Delivery Program in Hall County, the Jackson EMC Foundation becomes part of that village.

The Jackson EMC grant will be used to assist with purchasing a van for the program, which aims to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to people who are not able to come to the Food Bank’s mobile food pantry due to limited transportation, disability, serious illness or extreme poverty.

“We want to be understanding of these challenges,” says Blackstock. “We’ve found that very often transportation is an issue for people who need emergency food assistance, so we’ll deliver fresh fruits and vegetables along with recipes and safe food handling and storage suggestions to families in most need of assistance.”

The grocery delivery program is the second phase of an initiative started last year in which United Way of Hall County funded the Food Bank’s 12-month research project to identify Hall County neighborhoods with the highest levels of food insecurity, which the USDA defines as the lack of access to adequate food resulting from lack of money and other resources.

The new program will target communities in Gainesville and other locations in Hall County. One food distribution per site, per month, will be conducted for the coming year with 1,500 to 2,000 households impacted, according to Blackstock.

She calls it a “boots on the ground” program in which residents, along with receiving food, will be asked to share their unique challenges and needs for further assistance.

“We hope to make a difference by entering deeper into the communities of those who are most vulnerable,” says Blackstock. “Food is a basic human need, and we will first address that, but then we can help connect folks to more resources.”

For more information, visit gamountainfoodbank.org.