The Church Alliance, a group of local churches that have joined forces to more efficiently pool their resources and serve the community, has volunteered to operate the RIC Rack Food Bank, which was running low on staff, to keep the service going.
“We needed people to man the food bank. Why should we have a bunch of little food banks, when we could create one huge food bank with more resources and the possibility of meeting many more needs?” said Ken Newell, chairman of RIC Rack.
RIC Rack is a charity thrift store that resells donated merchandise, the proceeds of which fund the food bank. The RIC Rack Food Bank currently serves 1,200 families a year and is located at the intersection of Perimeter Road and Hwy. 9 North in Dawsonville.
“We give families enough food to last over a week, especially if they have a lot of children,” said Newell.
A community service project of this nature was exactly what the Church Alliance wanted to get involved with.
“It was perfect timing,” said Mark Weaver, pastor of Grace Presbyterian, one of the churches working with The Church Alliance. “It was a good match. We wanted to do something and they needed the help.”
RIC Rack will still handle the financial and business aspects of the food bank.
The Church Alliance will supply the staff to carry out RIC Rack’s vision and policies for the food bank.
The Church Alliance may also contribute food items and other resources that will be distributed to needy families. Several congregations have already planned food drives to help keep the shelves stocked.
The board of directors of RIC Rack will decide which days and hours the food bank will be open. The tentative schedule for open days is Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. RIC Rack itself is open Monday through Saturday.
The RIC Rack Food Bank requires that recipients live in Dawson County and provide proof of residency before they can be given aid. If people come from other counties, the staff will direct them to food banks, or other relevant aid agencies, in their own counties.
“We won’t be leaving anyone without help,” said Weaver.
The Church Alliance was formed about two years ago in an effort to respond to local benevolence needs.
“We need these sorts of coordinated approaches, where we are all working together, more than ever. With the current state of the economy, there are more of our fellow citizens that have needs and this is a way of responding,” said Weaver.
The Church Alliance is currently made up of Bethel United Methodist Church, Cornerstone Christian Church, Church of the Apostles, Church at War Hill, Christ Redeemer Catholic Church, Dawsonville Baptist Church, Dawsonville United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Grace Presbyterian, New Life Church of God, The Father’s House and McKee’s Chapel United Methodist Church.
“The idea is to create one big effort done really well, as opposed to 10 small ones struggling to meet the needs of those around them,” added Weaver.
It has yet to be determined when the Church Alliance will officially began operating the RIC Rack Food Bank.
“With the holiday season coming up, we need all the help we can get. We hope the whole community will come along side us and help better serve others in these difficult times,” said Newell.