Food Recovery & Distribution in Georgia (USA)
09 October 2015 Projects
St. Vincent de Paul, in partnership with Kroger and other grocery retailers, have joined together to fight hunger in north Georgia.
Each month SVdP picks an estimated 20,000 pounds of perishable food from designated stores to re-distribute to clients through the Society’s six Family Support Centers, 38 Conference food pantries and specified partner agencies. The area for this distribution is within the 35 counties of north and middle Georgia served by SVdP Atlanta.
St. Vincent de Paul members have the unique privilege and ability to meet people where they are, to assess their needs, instill hope and provide help by giving people the ability to confront the obstacles they face and rise with more than an emergency Band-Aid. It is our mission and desire to offer ideas, suggestions and corrections that will improve the client’s present state and guide and support them on the road to greater independence and self-sufficiency. Two strategic programs are the focus of SVdP as it proceeds in attaining its goals.
The Food Recovery and Distribution Program has provided over 350,000 pounds of perishable food which augmented the quantity and quality of food provided to over 90,000 households since its inception in 2010. With the pilot program complete, SVdP has increased the number of store pick-ups from nine to 41 total stores. This allows SVdP to distribute in excess of 20,000 pounds of food per month increasing access to perishable food and better nutrition, to an estimated 2,700 households each month. The target population is families (average of four persons) living at, or below the Federal Poverty level of household income of $28,600 annually. According to the USDA, weekly food costs for a family of four is $162 to $245 depending on food selection. Providing a better nutritional balance of perishable and non-perishable foods, offers a family a more healthy diet and allows them to apply their savings to other critical costs. Our goal is to increase our ability to provide access to good nutritional food for the increasing number of at-risk households, along with the other services provided in our support centers, assisting families in their pursuit of a higher degree of self-sufficiency, reducing dependency and affording them a new degree of stability.
The increase in the number of current stores and the anticipated addition of other retail partners in the near future, SVdP plans to create regional distribution hubs at strategic Family Support Center (FSC) locations. In addition to the existing sites at Chamblee, West End Atlanta, Dallas and McDonough, Stone Mountain and The Sullivan Center in downtown Atlanta, planning is taking place for two additional FSCs in Cobb and Gwinnett Counties. The long term plan includes the potential of an additional distribution site in South Atlanta which would benefit the Conferences and
partner food pantries south of the city limits