Courtesy Atlanta Community Food Bank

The Atlanta Community Food Bank is set to receive a $29 million grant to help address the negative impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced this week a total of $415 million would be awarded to local nonprofits, government organizations and businesses to help offset the economic damage caused by COVID-19. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“The funding from the state equates to roughly 60 million meals. This support will ensure that the Food Bank maintains sufficient inventory to meet the needs of Georgians facing food insecurity,” said Kyle Waide, president & CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, in a news release.

Approximately 715,000 households in Metro Atlanta are living in food insecure circumstances, Waide said. The situation is even worse for the state’s youngest populations, with more than 221,000 children in Metro Atlanta are forced to begin or end the day without the food they need, Waide said.

ACFB and other food banks are also facing economic hardships helping people in need due to high inflation rates as more people face soaring food, gas and housing costs.

ACFB said the grant money will go toward food purchases that will supplement products it receives from other donations. Before the pandemic, the Food Bank was spending an estimated $2 million a year for these supplemental products.

Spurred by the complications of the pandemic, disrupted supply chain, and increased demand from the general public, the organization was driven to raise their food purchase spending to roughly $13 million each year, which represents a nearly 600% increase compared to pre-COVID levels.  

The American Rescue Plan Act funding will allow the Food Bank to purchase nutritious food that may be supplied to their network of 700 feeding programs and community partners in 29 counties. =

For more information about the Atlanta Community Food Bank or to learn how you can help, visit acfb.org.  

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.