Thanks to this community’s support, it was another record-breaking year for Kroger’s annual “Can Hunger” Food Drive. Each year, Georgia Mountain Food Bank (GMFB) is the recipient of the proceeds collected during the drive in the months of November and December within its five county service area of Hall, Forsyth, Dawson, Lumpkin and Union counties.
GMFB’s mission is to address hunger, health and quality of life for those in need in north Georgia. Since 2007, Georgia Mountain Food Bank, an affiliate of the Atlanta Community Food Bank who is a member of Feeding America, has provided a vital link between sources of food supplies and hard-working, community-based partner agencies that help get the food into the hands of families and individuals in need.
“Over the years, the Can Hunger campaign has helped supply food banks with countless meals for the communities we serve,” says Glynn Jenkins, public relations director for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “And it is with the help and generosity of our customers and associates that we are able to continue to provide food for those who are less fortunate.”
Through the efficiencies of GMFB, five meals can be provided for every dollar donated. So, Kroger’s $65,162.58 gift has the potential to help GMFB provide more than 325,000 meals to the food insecure. In addition, Kroger also donated proceeds of their “Bringing Hope to the Table” campaign where they encouraged customers to help create awareness about hunger by sharing a photo of their empty dinner plate with #PictureYourPlate. They donated 1,000 meals for every photo shared resulting in an additional 12,715 meals, or $2,543, donated to GMFB.
“This donation is a huge blessing and will make an immense impact on our ability to feed the food insecure in North Georgia,” said Kay Blackstock, executive director of GMFB. “This donation is vital to our organization each year because it provides us the ability to secure food supplies when our shelves get low and to help provide some of the nutritious filler on our most needed items list that are in such high demand by the partner agencies we serve. We are eternally grateful for our continued partnership with Kroger.”
Kroger’s ongoing commitment to bring as much food as possible to hungry families also includes its company-wide Perishables Donations Partnership (PDP) program. The program allows fresh, wholesome food such as meat, produce and dairy products to be donated directly from Kroger stores to local food banks that have the ability to safely handle perishable foods.
Through its PDP program, Kroger donated more than 2.8 million pounds, the equivalent of 2.2 million meals of perishable foods to food banks in the region this year.
“Generous donations like this go a long way in helping our effort,” concluded Blackstock. “But it will take the entire community working together to continue to enhance our ability to provide food in our area. Tackling hunger is a big job. One in five Georgian’s are food insecure and estimated 47,000 people living within our service area are considered food insecure. I challenge you all to follow the example Kroger has set by rallying your company, coworkers and friends together to make a significant impact on hunger in our own back yards.”
To find out how you can help run a food drive or a fund drive, call GMFB at 770-534-4111 or visit gamountainfoodbank.org/food-drive-resources for more information.