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Outreach Programs

At the heart of what we do is distributing quality food to those in need, but we also engage our community in education and service through our outreach programs including:

Annual Empty Bowl Lunch

GMFB’s Annual Empty Bowl Lunch is our signature fundraising event where community members can enjoy a great lunch while supporting a tremendous cause.  The event includes several meal options donated by our corporate sponsors, a silent auction, and a presentation on the impact that GMFB is making in our community.  Along with a tasty lunch, guests will take home a hand-painted bowl as a thank you, and as a reminder of GMFB’s mission to eliminate empty bowls and empty stomachs in our communities. The money raised at Empty Bowl supports the food bank’s programs throughout the year.  Drop by and join us for a power lunch at this year’s Empty Bowl on Sept. 26, 2017. To find out more about Empty Bowl click here.

The Mobile Food Pantry

A program designed to take food directly to those in need. Our five county service area spans 1,504-square miles and even though we have more than 66 hunger relief partner agencies, there remains a great need for emergency food assistance to people in outlying areas. Transportation to a food pantry is a huge obstacle for clients in rural areas. The mobile pantry brings the food boxes that incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables, right into neighborhoods and communities of great need.  In FY16 GMFB distributed 213,653 pounds of food through the Mobile Food Pantry Program.

Munch Bunch Program

Munch Bunch provides after-school snacks to at-risk children in organized programs. Often these programs focus on health and nutrition during snack time through fun activities and lessons. The Gainesville Housing Authority (BLING) is providing healthy snacks for after-school and summer programs for children, family food boxes for various outreach programs

Creating Summer Smiles

This summer, the Georgia Mountain Food Bank is creating summer smiles by sending fresh food and grocery products to neighborhoods and providing supplemental snacks to meal service sites in north Georgia. Since 2009, the Food Bank has played a role in summer feeding beginning with two sites in Hall county. Year after year, the Summer Lunch Bag program has grown to add more sites and feed more children. This year, through the efforts of multiple community partnerships, the program has grown by another 63%!

Spearheading the expansion is Dr. Pamela Elfenbien, at University of North Georgia, and the program now has 23 sites spanning 8 counties! The Georgia Mountain Food Bank compliments the meal service by conducting a series of mobile pantries (direct neighborhood distributions) in and around the meal service sites. Additionally, the Food Bank will provide 25,000 pounds of healthy snacks and juice for supplemental food directly at the sites. We’re thankful to each and every one that contributes to the growth and success of connecting more food to children and families through summer feeding programs! In FY16 GMFB distributed 25,679 pounds of food through the Summer Feeding Program. That is an increase of 36% from last fiscal year.  

How is GMFB helping?

  • Supplemental Healthy Snacks: GMFB is providing healthy snacks and juice to multiple feeding sites served through the Summer Lunch Bags program. For Summer 2015, that’s 25,000 pounds over the summer service.
  • Neighborhood Mobile Food Pantries: GMFB is partnering with schools, churches and partner agencies within our five county service area to distribute more than 50,000 pounds of fresh food and groceries to neighborhoods in and around the meal service sites.
  • Community Garden: GMFB is producing fresh produce from our community garden here at the Food Bank. This produce is shipped out two times per week to our senior brown bags sites. We are grateful to the Gainesville Jaycees and a multitude of volunteers that make the garden possible each year!
  • Cooking & Healthy Demos: GMFB is supplying food and ingredients needed for cooking and healthy eating demonstrations & classes. An important component of a healthy life and best learning ability is to know about making healthy food choices and have access to healthy food. The RISE program is designed to prepare students to return to school in the fall specifically prepared for their grade level learning, with a richer knowledge of healthy choices for life. The RISE program targets at-risk and low income students.
Senior Food Boxes Program

These agencies and programs provide food and products especially tailored to senior citizens’ nutritional dietary needs, including fresh food and produce, through partner agencies and area Senior Centers.   These boxes make a significant difference in the lives of seniors who are often forced to choose between food and medicine.  In FY16, GMFB distributed 136,201 pounds through Senior Agencies and Programs. 

Food Rescue Program

GMFB hosts community food drives to supplement our food supply, but one of our main food resources is through partnerships with retail grocery stores, food manufacturers and food distributors. We receive surplus and “unsalable” food in large bulk quantities, which we store in our 20,000-square foot warehouse equipped with cold food storage space, and are then able to redistribute the food to our partner agencies and into the hands of families in need. In addition, because of our affiliation with the ACFB, we are able to share food resources between other Food Banks and increase the variety and amount of food available to our partner agencies.

Food Prescription Boxes

GMFB partners with local healthcare providers in Hall County including Good New Clinics, The Longstreet Clinic and Diagnostic Clinic to provide food prescription boxes to patients in need.  These patients typically are faced with the management of a chronic disease whose treatment outcome would benefit from a healthy diet, such as diabetes and cancer.   GMFB packs health conscience specialized boxes focused on specialized dietary needs such as items low in sodium and low sugar.

PIN Program

PIN stands for Person in Need.  Although the GMFB primary focus is getting food in to the hands of our Agencies that distribute the food to those in need, we have individuals come to the Food Bank in search of emergency food assistance.  We provide a PIN Box, enough for approximately for a family of four for two days along with a list of pantries in their area.  In FY16 GMFB distributed 27,847 pounds of food through the PIN Program.

Community Garden

GMFB produces fresh produce during the summer growing season from our community garden here at the Food Bank. This produce is shipped out two times weekly to our senior sites. We grateful to the Gainesville Jaycees and a multitude of volunteers that make the garden possible each year! The Georgia Mountain Community Garden project helped to subsidized produce donations in FY16 by nearly 400 pounds of produce. 

Back Pack Program Agencies

The Back Pack Program helps hungry children by providing them with nutritious, child-friendly and easy-to-prepare food to take home on weekends and school vacations when other resources are not available. Two of the programs in our 5 county service are provide food through the summer as well. In FY 16 GMFB distributed 149,277 pounds of food through the Back Pack Programs.

Other Community Initiatives

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank (GMFB) feeds hungry people through partnerships with organizations across the community whose missions align with ours.   Through a network of community partnerships, the Georgia Mountain Food Bank addresses hunger, health and quality of life by serving those in need.  Such programs include:

  • University of North Georgia (UNG)– GMFB provides healthy snacks for summer feeding programs administered by the college 
  • Outreach to seniors– in conjunction with Legacy Link’s Kinship Care Program (grandparents raising grandchildren).  
  • UNG’s Student Pantry– located on campus, providing ease of access to students and staff.  
  • Thanksgiving meals – GMFB provides food for various groups that provide Thanksgiving meals serving the elderly and homebound citizens.

Donate Today

At Georgia Mountain Food Bank every dollar makes a difference. In fact, for every dollar donated we can provide five meals to those in need. Extend your impact by partnering with us.