With each day, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic inflicts more pain across our community. Schools across the state are closed, restaurants and other businesses are shuttered and countless workers face the reality of layoffs, furloughs and missed paychecks.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank is focused on providing food and resources to those in need at this critical time. These include vulnerable, high-risk Georgians, such as seniors with chronic medical conditions and families with school-aged children who have lost access to school meals. Under this added strain, thousands of hardworking families will turn to the Food Bank now and in the months ahead.
Here's how the Food Bank is responding:
1. We are taking extra measures to keep our teams and partners healthy. These teams are our greatest champions and their daily efforts to get needed meals into the community must be protected.
2. We are purchasing additional food to support emergency food distributions. Our normal supply of food donations from retail partners has dropped dramatically. Our top priority right now is to increase the amount of food available to our network of 600 food providers. Their ability to impact hunger on the front lines depends on our ability to continue operations.
3. We are partnering with schools to feed kids who have lost access to free and reduced price meals. Multiple school sites around the metro area are preparing hot meals that families can pick up. The Food Bank is already working with Atlanta Public Schools, Clayton County Schools, Dekalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools and Marietta City Schools to provide grocery boxes - with enough food for 3-4 days - that families can take home along with their prepared meal. Conversations and planning continues with additional school districts.
4. We are identifying pockets of unmet need for special mobile distributions. Similar to our response during the government shutdown in January 2019, we are setting up mobile pantries for multiple high-need locations and population groups such as hotel and restaurant workers around our service area.
5. We are equipping vulnerable neighbors to find the food they need through both web- and text-based pantry locator tools.