Back in late January one of the great humanitarian institutions in the extended metro area, Atlanta Community Food Bank, broke ground for a new headquarters. Founded in 1979 by Georgia Tech alumnus Bill Bolling, the Food Bank is legendary for fulfilling its mission “to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community.” For years the institution’s main facility has been at 732 Joseph E. Lowry Blvd. Atlanta 30318. It’s grown so much in its good work that a second building next door at 970 Jefferson Street expanded the operations.
Presently work is underway for a needed new Food Bank HQ at the intersection of Redwine Road and Desert Drive in East Point. It will be easily accessible through MARTA bus routes and I-285. The new building is expected to open this summer or spring 2020 at the latest. It will mark the start of a new chapter for Atlanta Community Food Bank, huge in its out-reach and continuing to grow.
Atlanta Food Bank is respected as the backbone of the extended metro area’s nonprofit hunger relief system. With more than 600 partner agencies—food pantries, community kitchens, children’s and senior centers—in hometowns throughout a 29-county service area, the Food Bank is truly a Metro community effort. Through its partners there was distribution of 61 million meals to Georgians in need last year.
Volunteers for years have been vital for success of Atlanta Community Food Bank. They average about 1,700 a month and work with 150 regular staff members. Supplies are constantly in movement in and out of the Food Bank, which has a large fleet of trucks. Donors include manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, food drives, community gardens and individuals. Community partners of the Food Bank place orders online and arrangements can be made for pickup or delivery.
There is definitely a clientele is in need for the Food Bank. The numbers are stark. More than 1 in every 5 Georgia kids live in food insecure households. Each year an estimated 755,400 (or 1 in 7) people in Metro Atlanta and North Georgia turn to the Food Bank and its partner agencies. And they are good stewards: 95 cents of every dollar donated to the Food Bank (including value of donated food) goes directly to services in the community to help fight hunger. The reach of the Atlanta Community Food Bank is closer to us than we may know.
As the Food Bank transitions its HQ from downtown in Atlanta to East Point in the months to come, it keeps focus on helping the hungry in hometown communities who need help in meeting the fundamental need for food. Kyle Wade, presi-dent and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, underscores its earnestness of purpose. “Motivated by the knowledge that relieving hunger has the power to change the trajectory of a person’s life,” he says, “we are driven to grow our response to ongoing food insecurity by closing the hunger gap and ensuring all children and families have access to the healthy and nutritious food they need to thrive.” It is indeed an ideal that challenges the best in all of us.
– Dr. Paul Hudson