Food will be distributed door-to-door and the Athens Community Council on Aging will host weekly drive-thru grocery pickups. The organization also plans to establish bulk deliveries and additional distribution in the coming weeks.
The initiative is funded by the Athens-Clarke County Government and led by the ACCA. The nonprofit’s mission is to “promote a lifetime of wellness through engagement, advocacy, education and support,” according to its website.
According to the release, ACCA plans to “maintain its mission of promoting a lifetime of wellness by serving older community members while taking lead on the Athens Eats Together initiative to provide food relief to all in need within our county.”
According to the release, the ACCA is partnering with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, Epting Events, the Athens Farmers Market and Family Connection - Communities in Schools of Athens to acquire, prepare, store and distribute meals.
It is estimated that the county-wide initiative will provide over 690,000 meals to 10,000 Athenians through the end of January, according to the release.
ACCA has been distributing food to communities since 1972. Since the pandemic began, the organization has served more than 127,500 emergency relief meals to 1,900 area seniors through an expanded version of its Meals on Wheels program, according to the release.
“COVID-19 presents no better time than for ACCA to use our talent and innovation to pivot and respond to our community’s most urgent needs. Today, that is food access,” ACCA President and CEO Eve Anthony said. “Our experience, infrastructure, logistical know-how and collaborative partner relationships are in place to create a community-wide food distribution program that benefits residents, of any age, facing food insecurities.”
ACC is supporting the initiative through funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. According to the release, the Athens-Clarke County Resiliency Package was approved by the Mayor and Commission in July to provide COVID-19 relief in the county.
People in need of meals can call the Athens Eats Together intake line at (888) 420-7798 or visit https://www.accaging.org/athenseatstogether for more information.