It’s a lot of work to provide meals for an estimated 500 local families, and Meals by Grace is looking for some help from the community.
Suellen Daniels, co-founder of Meals by Grace, said the non-profit’s food pantry is dealing with shortages due to feeding more people than ever before, along with some internal issues.
“Because we’re feeding more people than ever before, the supplies don’t last as long as they did, and of course there’s been some hiccups with the food bank because the big Atlanta Community Food Bank is getting ready to move its location, so supplies are not what they are normally,” Daniels said.
Daniels said the food bank is looking for a variety of non-perishable items ranging from pasta to canned fruits and vegetables to soups as well as items like cloth grocery bags, condiments and toilet paper.
“When the pantry gets this low with just a couple of food items and there’s no variety or anything, it really highlights for our families their circumstances,” Daniels said, “and it makes for a very depressing environment because it just highlights for them that ‘I don’t have anything,’ and we don’t want them to think no one cares.”
Meals by Grace serves about 500 families each week between 70 families on home-delivery, 30 in Dawson County, 30 through the Head Start children’s program and regular pantry guests. That means an estimated 45,000 pounds of food are given out each month.
Daniels said the food pantry is client-choice, meaning that clients are given a certain allotment of points to buy items with unhealthier items like donuts costing more points than fresh foods and vegetables.
“They’re also very cognizant of the fact that other families that are coming need something, too, so a lot of times they may have 30 points a week to spend on their family, but they won’t take all of them,” Daniels said. “They’ll make due so that they leave something for somebody else. I just love that. It’s such a sustainable way to think when you’re caring for one another.”
Meals by Grace accepts donations 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays at the pantry, located at 432-A Canton Highway, and on Sundays 12:30-3 p.m. at Midway United Methodist Church.
Daniels said the organization may be able to make accommodations to accept donations at other times and can be contacted at 404-426-4055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“It is the most honoring thing imaginable to know that the community cares that much for people that are neighbors that have a need,” Daniels said. “It’s just huge. I’m so blessed to live in a community where people care like that. Forsyth County is the best.”
More information about the non-profit can be found at MealsbyGrace.org, and an Amazon Smile wish list, which gives a percentage of sales to Meals by Grace and has all items the food pantry is looking for, can be found at https://amzn.to/2Uou4ct.