Once the school ends for the year, a whole lot of children start going hungry. These children rely on breakfast and lunch at their schools. But with school out for the summer, they suddenly have very little to eat.
The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce recognized this and four years ago started what's now an annual food drive. The drive started yesterday, Monday, June 13, and ends on Friday, June 17 with a collection at First Citizens Bank on Haynes Bridge Road, right in front of the chamber offices.
"Donations in the summer are particularly low because everybody is on vacation," sad the chamber's Kendra Plotkin, who has organized the food drive.
Coupled with the lack of subsidized lunches the area's children in poorer homes–which, with the economic downturn of the past few years has grown–the need is great.
"That's why we chose this particular time of year," she said.
It's an opportunity to give back to the community and is widely supported by the business members of the chamber, Plotkin said.
To make sure the most need is met, the chamber and North Fulton Community Charities, the beneficiary of the food drive, identified the top six most immediate needs:
- Pasta Sauce (no pasta)
- Canned Beans (but no green beans)
- Ramen Noodles
- Canned Fruit
- Mac & Cheese
"On Friday the 17th, we'll be over at the bank. North Fulton Community Charities will bring their truck," Plotkin said.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., volunteers from North Fulton Community Charities and the chamber will be loading the donated food into the truck.
With all that food, people stopping by might get hungry themselves. Shane's Rib Shack will be providing lunch, starting around 11:30 a.m. and lasting until the food is gone.
"We're looking forward to working with the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce in the food drive that's benefiting North Fulton Community Charities, said Charlie Feehan, owner of the Alpharetta Shane's Rib Shack.
"What we are going to do is we are going to have food out there from Shane's, for people who bring their donations by," he said. "Rather than having you paying for your food, if you want to offer a donation for the food, all of those donations will go directly to North Fulton Community Charities. "
"It's just such an easy thing to do. We all go to the grocery store all the time," Plotkin said.
If everyone picks up an item or two every time they go to the story, it will make a significant difference on the shelves of the food pantry.
"Last year we collected 3.5 tons of food, and we anticipate more this year," she said.
"Come on by and drop off your food to help a great charity and have a little great barbecue at the same time," Feehan said.