Atlanta Community Food Bank Receives $29 Million from State of Georgia’s America Rescue Plan Act
Monday, May 23rd, 2022
Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp recently announced $415 million will be awarded to local nonprofits, government organizations, and businesses to address the negative economic impact caused by COVID-19 and the Atlanta Community Food Bank is one of the 33 recipients. The Food Bank will be receiving a $29 million grant as part of this American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The Georgia Office of Planning and Budget along with members of the Negative Economic Impact Committee evaluated applications for funding and played a vital role in determining the award recipients.
“We are incredibly grateful for the State of Georgia’s support and recognition of food insecurity in our community and how it’s affecting our residents,” said Kyle Waide, President & CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “We’ve undergone unprecedented times with the global pandemic that have significantly raised the need for our services. Although we have seen some improvement, the impacts are still being felt by roughly 715,000 of our neighbors who are currently living in food insecure circumstances. The situation is even worse for our youngest populations, as more than 221,000 children in our community are forced to begin or end the day without the food they need. This generous funding comes at such a critical time, as it will allow us to continue our mission and assist even more of those individuals and families who are struggling.”
Funds will be dedicated toward food purchases that will supplement products the Food Bank receives from other donations. Prior to the pandemic, the Food Bank was spending an estimated $2 million a year for these supplemental products. Spurred by the complications of the pandemic, disrupted supply chain, and increased demand from the general public, the organization was driven to raise their food purchase spending to roughly $13 million each year, which represents a nearly 600% increase compared to pre-COVID levels.
Thanks to the ARPA funding, the Food Bank will be able to continue to purchase essential nutritious food that may be supplied to their network of 700 feeding programs and community partners. Food will be distributed through traditional channels and complemented with mobile pantries and large-scale distribution initiatives across their service area, which covers 29 counties in metro Atlanta and North Georgia.
“The funding from the State equates to roughly 60 million meals. This support will ensure that the Food Bank maintains sufficient inventory to meet the needs of Georgians facing food insecurity,” added Waide.