Most every Georgian has been exposed to canned food drives and similar programs attempting to gain donations for food banks. Most Georgians do not realize, however, just how many people need the help of those food banks.
Here's a daunting fact: approximately one in five citizens of our great state struggle with hunger and require the help of food banks. These Georgians come from all walks of life, including families, those who've lost jobs, children, elderly men and women, and disabled citizens.
At Jones & Swanson, we believe in providing help to our neighbors and fellow community members. The first step to helping is gaining an understanding of what various organizations do to aid Georgia citizens. The Georgia Food Bank Association includes seven regional food banks and dispenses over 95 million pounds of food each year to 159 counties throughout the state of Georgia. When food donations arrive, the Banks inspect and inventory each product so that they can be dispersed to the approximately 2,500 partner agencies of the organization. These agencies that the Food Banks disperse goods to include youth programs, community kitchens, food pantries, senior centers, night shelters, and rehabilitation centers.
The demand for meals and canned foods goes up each year around the holidays. Georgia food banks met at the beginning of December to discuss the holiday season requirements. According to the Georgia Food Bank Association's executive director, Dana Craft, demand for food overall is up 10-15 percent. These numbers are in addition to the 30-35 percent increases from the recession. Unfortunately, food supplies are down at many food banks. Supplies for the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank are down by approximately 20 percent from this time last year, which means many will go without the nourishment they need this holiday season unless more donations are made.
What can you do to help? Participate in canned food drives and research other ways to donate time, food and funds to the regional bank that serves your county. To contact the Georgia Food Bank Association, visit www.georgiafoodbankassociation.org or call 404-601-2462. If you have any questions about other ways to help in Cobb County, contact our office today at 770-427-5498 and we'll be happy to provide information on programs we are participating in this holiday season.