Editor's Note: See the picture collages below the story.
Rotary District 6900, in partnership with Rotary District 6910, was given a huge opportunity to help alleviate food insecurity for counties with a designated Federal Opportunity Zone. In October, the USDA Farmers-to-Families Food Box project delivered an entire truckload of refrigerated food boxes to be distributed under the direction of a Rotary Club and food pantry at no cost, alleviating any financial burden to the food pantry. Each truckload included 1,156 boxes or the equivalent of 23,000 meals. The 30-pound boxes included over five pounds of meat, 12 pounds of produce, pounds of dairy and one gallon of milk. Thanks to the clubs in the district that participated and to AG Chris Brand for coordinating the overall effort - seven trucks carrying 8,000+ boxes, for a total of 161,000 meals weighing in at 224,000 pounds.
- On October 22, the Rotary Club of Americus collaborated with Harvest of Hope Food Pantry to host a massive food distribution event was held in the parking lot of First Baptist Church. Residents of Sumter County could drive through and pick up food and other items, as well as the boxes of refrigerated food procured by Rotary. Additionally, Harvest of Hope added bags with chicken thighs, small hams, orange juice, toilet paper, and a variety of additional items. Nearly 70 volunteers were on site to provide assistance, logging a cumulative 216 hours. In addition to Americus Rotarians, GSW athletes and nursing students, employees from The Staffing People, First Baptist Church, and community volunteers were on hand to ensure each family was served. The Rotary Club of Americus would like to thank Harvest of Hope Food Pantry, First Baptist Church, Georgia Cold Storage, Minor Farms, Steve Stanfield, and Jerry Dill for their help in getting food into the hands of Sumter County families.
- The Rotary Clubs of Carrollton, Carrollton Dawnbreakers and Bremen joined forces to distribute to families in Haralson, Carroll, and surrounding areas.
- The Rotary Club of Newnan collaborated with Bridging the Gap, Real Life Center, I-58 Mission, One Roof and Meals on Wheels to distribute a truckload to Coweta County residents. In The Newnan Times-Herald, the director of Bridging the Gap said, "We see Rotary as a valued partner in our mission to help people in Coweta County as they struggle with food insecurity and lack of connection to available resources. This gift of food will go a long way to feeding, serving and supporting their restoration."
- In Crisp County, families received an amazing "Halloween treat" - with Cordele Rotarians gathering early in the morning to participate in the distribution. You can see the cars lined up in the field hosting the event.
- Other sponsoring clubs included South DeKalb Rotary Club and Stone Mountain/Tucker/East Cobb, Camilla/Dougherty County, and Lake Spivey/Clayton County.