Nourishing Our Neighbors: Atlanta Community Food Bank
Since 1979, the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) has been working to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering the community. To accomplish its mission, ACFB works with more than 700 community-based partners, including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, shelters and senior centers. Through this partner network, ACFB can distribute an average of 9.7 million pounds of food each month, or approximately 8 million meals, to more than 600,000 food-insecure people in 29 counties across metro Atlanta and north Georgia.
In 2023, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation granted $1 million to ACFB to support the Transforming the Neighbor Experience Campaign. This campaign aims to transform the service experience of the emergency feeding network. ACFB believes that by working with community partners, they can ensure food-insecure neighbors have equitable, convenient, consistent and frequent access to the food they need in the short-term and to essential groceries that increase the reach of their other resources in the long-term. In connecting clients with food, ACFB also provides bandwidth and breathing room – mental, emotional and financial – so that clients can solve other problems and pursue life opportunities.
Having to choose between food and other essentials can often result in deteriorating health, increased medical costs, reduced productivity and even lower incomes. ACFB has a deep understanding of the role that food can play in the lives of families who are experiencing crisis. Food can be a transformational, foundational resource that helps provide stability for low-income families. ACFB also offers supplemental food pantries and mobile markets to get food to underserved areas that partner agencies can’t reach.
“Too many of our neighbors face the threat of not having enough to eat. Budgets are stretched to, and often past, their breaking points and people are forced into making tough decisions between buying food and paying for other necessities,” said Sarah Fonder-Kristy, Chief Development Officer of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “Thanks to our increased capabilities, we are distributing more food than ever before. With greater capacity to serve the community and the high levels of need, we have activated our new strategic plan to increase the access to food in our communities.”
As a result of the Transforming the Neighbor Experience Campaign, ACFB will dramatically grow its reach and impact over the next five years. ACFB will distribute more than $1 billion in food and resources to food-insecure neighbors and improve the experience for people seeking food assistance from local pantries, supporting more than 10 million pantry visits. ACFB will also enhance the variety of food provided to families, including more than 150 million pounds of fresh produce. Working with its network of nonprofit feeding programs, ACFB will reduce the rate of food insecurity in north Georgia to 8%.
The math is simple, but the results are quite significant. For every dollar that is donated, ACFB can provide enough food for three meals. Through matching gift programs, like the one at the Blank Family of Businesses, that number can then multiply to six meals to help nourish our friends and neighbors living in local communities around Atlanta and north Georgia.