The novel coronavirus pandemic has left corporate kitchens dormant or grossly underutilized, while growing unemployment is driving the city’s food insecurity numbers to unprecedented levels. Feeding America and The Atlanta Community Food Bank estimate that 16% of people in the 29-county service area of the Food Bank will be food insecure this summer. And, with school out for the summer, 26% of children, 1 in 4, could go hungry.
To address this staggering divide, The Atlanta Community Food Bank and Second Helpings Atlanta have joined forces to launch the Atlanta Community Kitchen Project. This first-ever public/private partnership in the region connects hunger relief agencies with commercial kitchens with a goal to provide five hundred thousand meals to Atlanta families in need this summer. And this unprecedented initiative is being funded in large part by the city’s top corporate leaders who comprise the Atlanta Rotary Club.
The Rotary Club of Atlanta initially provided $100,000 as one of the earliest supporters of the Atlanta Community Kitchen Project, enabling the distribution of the first 25,000 meals. Based on the initiative’s success, and in keeping with Rotary’s mission to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service, Rotary has further committed an additional $100,000, which is being matched by an anonymous donor coupled with another $100,000 matching raise, for a total of up to $400,000 to support the Atlanta Community Kitchen Project.