Many families in our South Atlanta community have wondered where their next meal will come from. Experts name this experience “food insecurity.” Worries about food can eclipse so many other important aspects of life, such as education, transportation, or housing. To address this crucial need, FCS has partnered with Urban Recipe for four years to host the South Atlanta food co-op.
In addition to providing food, the co-op model offers collective dignity to the 35 families who participate. Leaders of the co-op are members who’ve been selected to run the bi-weekly meetings. But unloading, sorting, and distributing the food biweekly requires everyone helping out! On their website, Urban Recipe says, “Because of the consistency and sense of ownership the model offers, our co-ops not only provide food security for those in need, but are a place where relationships are formed, dignity is affirmed, and community is strengthened.”
Co-op members pay a $4 fee during each meeting that, combined with their commitment to serving the group, offsets costs of distributing the food. Local donors also subsidize this food ministry model. As a direct result of the partnership between FCS and Urban Recipe, over 230,000 pounds of food have been distributed to needy families in South Atlanta.
Each year, the co-op distributes 4,800 pounds of food, and a medium-sized family will receive $3,500 worth of food over the course of a year. In South Atlanta, we have been so encouraged to see our co-op grow and benefit the families who participate. Within the next year, we hope to grow the food co-op to reach 50 families.
We are especially grateful for the support of two local groups that are coming alongside us to help families in our community become more food secure. The Frances Hollis Brain Foundation Fund awarded the South Atlanta Co-op a $5,000 grant to expand and provide even more food. In addition, A-Tow, a local towing company in our community, donated a trailer to make food pick-up and deliveries more accessible and efficient. It’s so motivating to be a part of this growing community that is ending food insecurity in South Atlanta!