Getting the food out in Cobb

The Cobb Community Foundation submitted the next article about filling the hole in meals safety with using Cobb COVID-19 Neighborhood Reduction Fund grants.

The newest spherical of grants from the Cobb COVID-19 Neighborhood Reduction Fund continues to concentrate on meals.  “After we checked out the place different funding had been made obtainable and what’s wanted to assist meet primary wants, the hole we may greatest assist fill to make the most important impression was the meals hole,” explains Shari Martin, President & CEO of Cobb Neighborhood Basis.

In keeping with the Census Bureau’s U.S. Family Pulse Survey for 2-weeks ending December seventh, 17% of the 4.2 million metro Atlanta respondents mentioned that within the final seven days, they both typically or generally didn’t have sufficient to eat.  “The traces of vehicles for meals distributions are getting longer, not shorter,” says Howard Koepka.  Koepka is with Noonday Affiliation of Church buildings which operates Storehouse Ministries, a distributor to over 25 Cobb County church buildings.  Koepka, just lately named Cobb Neighborhood Basis’s Visionary Philanthropist for 2020, additionally manages the Cobb Neighborhood Meals Fleet. 

In Could, Cobb’s Board of Commissioners allotted $1,000,000 of CARES Act funding to varied non-profits for the acquisition of meals between April 1st and September 30th.  In keeping with Martin, whose April presentation to the BoC helped to safe the $1,000,000, in October, CCF carried out a survey of Cobb’s nonprofits to quantify the meals offered up to now and what was wanted to proceed to fulfill the demand.

The 32 non-profits responding to the survey reported that over 8.3 million kilos of unprepared meals had been delivered or distributed to over 110 areas since April, excluding summer season lunch deliveries.  That’s roughly 6.9 million meals with 56% being offered by 4 organizations.

Food Box Distributions

In November, the County’s Board of Commissioners allotted one other $560,000 in CARES Act {dollars} for meals purchases.  Whereas the extra funding was each important and appreciated, there have been some crucial bills that the grant couldn’t cowl.

“Meals pantries that had been open all week needed to convert to weekly meals distribution drive-thru’s.  That not solely requires extra space for storing, however refrigerated space for storing,” explains Koepka.  Many organizations have additionally begun delivering meals packing containers to underserved communities, which requires field vans, generally refrigerated, he says.  “The price of offering meals is far more than simply the price of the meals.” 

Martin says the $70,000 in grants CCF distributed in December ought to assist considerably.  “This was a spot that wanted to be stuffed.  In any other case, the cash was coming in a single pocket to pay for meals however going out one other to maintain it refrigerated or to move it.”

Vehicles lined up at Inexperienced Acres Baptist Church in Smyrna for meals distribution

It appeared that, a minimum of by way of the top of the yr, with the County’s further $560,000 and CCF’s $70,000, whereas the demand remained sky excessive, the provision was stabilized.  On November 30th, nevertheless, the supply of the Farmers to Households meals packing containers got here to an abrupt finish.  The meals wants quantified in CCF’s survey anticipated that the three,500 meals packing containers that had been being delivered every week would proceed by way of the vacations. Regardless that this program didn’t begin in Cobb till Could 26th, it had offered 15% of all meals distributed by survey recipients between April and October and was being delivered to 47 areas all through the county.

On the time, the BoC had another common assembly left within the yr, and a few of unused CARES Act allocations had been being reallocated.  CCF petitioned the BoC for funding to buy the meals packing containers that had beforehand been being delivered at no cost, and on December 15th, the BoC allotted an extra $350,000 which might fund roughly a month of meals packing containers.

The timing was serendipitous, as on January 4th, the USDA introduced that it could buy $1.5 billion of meals for the Households to Farmers Meals Field program, with deliveries anticipated to begin towards the top of January and to proceed by way of the top of April.  Funding for the fourth spherical was anticipated to fund deliveries by way of the top of final yr, nevertheless, and a minimum of for Cobb County, they stopped on November thirtieth.

Martin believes two issues are sure, the necessity isn’t going away anytime quickly, and the Cobb COVID-19 Reduction Fund will proceed to boost cash to assist fill the gaps to fulfill it.

For extra data and to donate to the Cobb COVID-19 Neighborhood Response Fund, please go to

About Cobb Neighborhood Basis
Cobb Neighborhood Basis is a 501(c)(3) group that makes use of the ability of charitable giving and our function as neighborhood convener and catalyst to enhance the standard of life in Cobb County and past. We live our mission on daily basis by inspiring charitable giving, constructing sources for the longer term and connecting donors who care with causes that matter. CCF is primarily funded by the revenues generated by way of its charitable fund companies, in addition to the group’s Company Neighborhood Champion program and different direct contributions. Be taught extra by contacting Shari Martin at, or by visiting

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