Did you know that Georgia has the 10th highest food insecurity rate in the county and that 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger?1 For most of us, hunger can be solved by a trip to the kitchen. Mealtimes often revolve around planned ingredients, thoughtfully purchased during weekly grocery runs, or include impromptu restaurant visits. But for many Atlantans, food is an expense that has to take a backseat to more pressing needs. For these individuals and families, there isn’t regular access to adequate or affordable food—it’s a chronic problem known as food insecurity.2
“A household is food insecure when they’re unsure about where their next meal is coming from,” said Jon West, VP of Programs at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “This may be due to a lack of resources—money, a place to buy food or transportation to get there.”3
Food insecurity does not just affect children and families in the city but it also affects individuals living in rural areas. People who live in rural Georgia face hunger at higher rates, in part because of the unique challenges living remotely presents. These challenges include an increased likelihood of food deserts with the nearest food pantry or food bank potentially hours away, job opportunities that are more concentrated in low-wage industries, and higher rates of unemployment and underemployment.4
Our partners at HOPE Atlanta, the Atlanta Mission, Open Hand Atlanta, and the Atlanta Community Food Bank are working hard to thwart those statistics and we’re glad we can help by hosting a variety of service projects for our members including food drives, serving as delivery drivers, helping pack and sort food donations, making sandwiches, preparing a meal for a youth shelter, and more. Our current service calendar has 10 projects for this cause area with nearly 100 project dates and times available to members.
Data has shown that in the state of Georgia more than a million children in Georgia do not have consistent access to enough nutritious food. This can have long-term effects on their health and future. Kids who are food insecure are more likely to be held back a grade in elementary school, more than likely to be sick and hospitalized and more likely to have growth and developmental issues.5
Here are a few highlighted upcoming projects for Pebble Tossers members:
Thanksgiving Meal Boxes
InCommunity needs volunteers on Wednesday, November 17th to sort and fill Thanksgiving Meal Boxes for its 43 group homes. The items donated at our food drive on November 6th will be used to fill these boxes. InCommunity provides opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to participate in meaningful activities within their communities. All volunteers must be at least 8 years old.
S’mores with SafeHouse Outreach
This will be our 9th year providing the S’mores for the Chili Outreach. Pebble Tossers volunteers will make and serve the S’mores and help with the entire event. All supplies are provided and we will be serving and visiting with the community from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 27th. This is a great way to extend your Thanksgiving and is a wonderful family project.
Thanksgiving Love Feeds on November 19th
Love Beyond Walls focuses on raising awareness of the realities and needs of those experiencing lack and vulnerability and using that vehicle as a way of mobilizing people to take part in those stories. Love Beyond Walls is preparing for the Thanksgiving Love Feeds – they will be collecting the following items: turkeys, boxes of cornbread, boxes of mac & cheese, boxes of stuffing, boxes of desserts, and drinks. If you would like to donate any of the items listed below, please click here to sign up with Love Beyond Walls for a time to drop them off at their office
1 HOPE Atlanta https://hopeatlanta.org/
2 Southface https://www.southface.org/what-does-food-insecurity-look-like-in-atlanta/
3 Southface https://www.southface.org/what-does-food-insecurity-look-like-in-atlanta/
4 Georgia Food Bank Association https://georgiafoodbankassociation.org/hunger-in-georgia/
5 Georgia Food Bank Association https://georgiafoodbankassociation.org/hunger-in-georgia/