CONYERS, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — The Atlanta Community Food Bank launched its series of food distribution events on February 17, 2021 in Conyers, feeding 1,000 households as families struggle with the pandemic.

Cars lined up at the Georgia International Horse Park for the drive-thru distribution. “I’m very grateful for the people that are doing this for persons like us that are in need at this moment,” said Mary Hernandez, a resident. “It’s wonderful, wonderful. It’s a blessing. Thank you for feeding my family,” said Abigail Ritchie, another resident.

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The food bank partnered with Springfield Christian Ministries and Covington First United Methodist Church. “We need great support from community partners. We need people who know the community, people who are trusted in the community,” said John West, the vice president of the food bank’s Partner Relations.

Volunteers loaded 30 pound boxes of meat and dairy products, fresh produce and other items. “It’s definitely giving back to the community and just showing that we appreciate everyone and just everyone looking upon one another and showing care,” said Brandon Payne, a volunteer serving on behalf of the DeKalb Area Chapter of the Albany State University National Alumni Association.

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Organizers said the event, which ran as smoothly as a well-oiled machine, doesn’t quite mirror the rough times families have been facing. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted elderly people and children the most. “That always tugs at me, I think. How do we help those most vulnerable of our neighbors have the support they need,” West said.

They’re seeing a 50% increase in demand, so they’re distributing 50% more food each month since this time last year. A 2020 COVID impact report estimates 1 in 7 Georgians and 1 in 5 children in Georgia are food insecure, which means they don’t have enough money or resources to get enough food. “What that means for hunger-fighting work is that we have more hungry people, and we need to get more food out,” said West.

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The Atlanta Community Food Bank will have more distributions between now and June. For more details and for information on how you can help, click here.