It was 42 degrees outside, but I knew that I had to get somewhere and the weather was not going to stop me today! This is the time of year and season to give back to those who are in need. Well, I had recently had that opportunity when volunteering at the Atlanta Community Food Bank!. When arriving there, I was not sure what I was going to do. I met with fellow Anthem co-workers and the Marietta East Lions Club who hosted this fantastic event! I was told to be ready to do some work and have some fun!
I walked into the back of the building to the Warehouse which was called the PRC - Product Rescue Center. The PRC is a place in the Atlanta Community Food Bank where quality donated non-perishable goods such as canned and packaged products, perishable goods such as frozen or refrigerated items and non-food household necessities such as paper products and toiletries are sorted, inspected and packaged out to needy families in the metro Atlanta and north Georgia. This type of work can be done only with the help of volunteers, and that is why I am here.
Today, we had an excellent and insightful instructor name Marcus who explained everything there is to know about the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the importance of feeding those who are hungry. He stated that for every dollar that we spend throughout the day can equal to 4 meals that a person can have. Nearly 900,000 people or 1 in 7.5 across metro Atlanta and north Georgia are struggling to provide food for themselves and their families. The Atlanta Community Food Bank, since 1979, has been working hard to end hunger in our communities by providing food for a growing network of non-profit partners including food pantries, community kitchens, childcare centers, night shelters and senior centers. They currently are serving more than 600 partners in 29 counties across the metro Atlanta and north Georgia areas. Anyone that you may know might be struggling to put food on the table, and sometimes the person may have to make the unfortunate trade-off of spending money, not on food but medicine or healthcare or transportation or rent or utilities. Marcus did go over the untruths that people may think of people who are hungry. It can be your neighbor, a colleague or a friend.
After hearing this speech from Marcus, I was ready and energized to help out any way I can! Marcus guide us into the central warehouse of the Product Rescue Center where we were ready to start sorting, inspecting and packing goods to families and individuals in the north Georgia and metro Atlanta areas! The music was blasting with partying R&B tunes, and everyone ran to the stations that they wanted to work.
My station was one of the inspecting locations where I had to see if a product is out of date to toss out and to repackage the items whose times are current. At first, there was some confusion on what was an expired date, but Marcus and his crew explain that even though the date on the package states that it is expired, it is not terminated and the product has more months of shelf life. It is based on the type of product such as a granola bar vs. can fruit. Well, once we all got to start the items started to come out so fast that it was hard to keep up. Time went by so quickly that it was time to finish up and shut down our stations.
I am happy to say we were able to sort over 14,000 lbs. food/items salvaged approximately 12,000 pounds of food/items and prepared over 50 boxes of food for deserving families, how amazing is that! If you would like to volunteer for the many opportunities that Atlanta Community Food Bank have you can contact them at 404-419-1727 or sign up in advance at acfb.org/volunteer-sign-up
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Living Healthy!!