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Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Food Bank of Northeast Georgia: Working Towards Ending Hunger

Aug 23, 2016 04:02PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia has been working to feed and support local-area communities for over 20 years. At the beginning of this year, a new branch opened in Clayton to further support those within the community that benefit from their programs. 

We were able to get in touch with the Communications Manager, Susan Dodson, to learn more about not only the new facility, but the ultimate mission of the Food Bank. 

Tell me about yourself. What is your role at the Food Bank?

I am the Director of External Relations which includes all communications, donor relations, marketing and events. I came to the Food Bank in 2011 to manage the Food 2 Kids program. I was then promoted to Communications Manager and began in my current role in May of this year.

The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia recently opened a new branch in Clayton. How has it been so far?

The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia opened in Athens in 1992 and opened a branch in Tiger in the early 2000s. We have just opened the new facility in Clayton, beginning operations there in January 2016. We have had great feedback about the new facility and all of the new capabilities that are now available to the community, such as the Teaching Kitchen and Instant Quick Freeze line.

What has been the community response? 

We have had amazing community support and just had our Grand Opening celebration in July. There have been many inquiries about how we will use the Teaching Kitchen. We have already helped a summer camp for children aged 6-12 that taught them ways to eat healthier at home. We have also held other training courses for local farmers, school nutritionists, and school cafeteria workers.

What's the ultimate goal? What is the mission?

The food bank’s mission is to work toward ending hunger as part of an overall community effort to alleviate poverty. Our goal is to end hunger in our 14 county service area by providing healthy food to anyone who may be food insecure. Food insecure is defined as not knowing where your next meal is coming from. 1 in 3 children in northeast Georgia are considered food insecure.

How can someone get involved?

We offer many volunteer opportunities from office help , to sorting food, to packing bags for our Food 2 Kids program. We have also just entered the public phase of our $7 million Capital Campaign and are encouraging current and new donors to help us raise the final $600,000 needed to finish up strong! 

To volunteer contact Stephen Anderson at 706-782-0780.

For more information about the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, feel free to visit their website.

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