Action Ministries' hunger relief programs help people shed the burden of searching for their next meal. We currently operate two community kitchens (Our Daily Bread in Athens and the Women's Community Kitchen in midtown Atlanta) as well as food pantries and community gardens in Rome and Athens. In Rome, Action Ministries also serves as the northwest Georgia distribution site for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Struggling individuals often come to Action Ministries because they are hungry, but in these difficult times, people need more than food to improve their lives. When they get to know our volunteers and staff - and the wide range of programs we offer - they can see new-found hope and are able to embark on next steps for transforming their lives.
SMART LUNCH, SMART KID
Action Ministries launched Smart Lunch, Smart Kid (SLSK) in 2012 to serve the thousands of Georgia children who receive free and reduced - price lunches during the school year - but go hungry during the summer months. The program's goal for its inaugural summer was to provide 100,000 sack lunches to needy children, and with an outpouring of support from local communities, we were able to serve 117,292 lunches at 25 program sites in 18 Georgia communities from May through August.
During the first two years of the program Action Ministries was able to serve more than 300,000 healthy lunches to Georgia children in 20 cities across the state. In 2014, the program aims to serve 200,000 lunches and will be refining the program by working with new partners, reaching deeper into communities it serves now to help even more children and offering more enrichment opportunities.
Action Ministries coordinates a vast network of partnering organizations and SLSK volunteers who make the lunches, drive the lunches to safe places where the children gather, serve the meal and offer enrichment activities once the kids are fed. Many of the SLSK sites are in remote rural areas, trailer parks, apartment complexes and other places where children otherwise have no access to hunger relief services. The program allowed Action Ministries to offer services in Butts and Fayette counties for the first time in 2012, and added Carroll County in 2013.
In 2014, the organization plans to serve lunches to children in 25 Georgia cities near Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Carrollton, College Park, Fayetteville, Flovilla, Gainesville, Jackson, Jenkinsburg, Peachtree City, Rome, Stone Mountain and Tucker.
Each weekday – from the first day through the last day of summer vacation – Smart Lunch, Smart Kid volunteers will fan out through communities to distribute healthy lunches prepared by members of the community to children who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the regular school year.
We can't do it without YOU. Civic, congregational and corporate groups joining together to help others is a fun, easy and rewarding experience. To sign up to volunteer online, click on the SignUp Genius button and find the location nearest you. Your volunteers can provide lunches, pack and check them at the distribution centers or drive lunches to kids.
There are so many ways to help!
Your volunteers can:
- Provide lunches: Every week during the summer, we need food preparation help. With a demand of up to 400 lunches per day in some areas, Smart Lunch, Smart Kid depends on support from the community to keep this effort alive. Whether you can help weekly or just once, there is a place for you!• Drive lunches to the kidsThe driver corps is the face of the program. A committed team of volunteer drivers is needed to take lunches directly to the children. They are an essential part of the program and are trained to build a trusting relationship with the children they serve.
- Pack and check lunches at the distribution centers: If you prefer organizing, our local project coordinators are always in need of help packing and preparing the lunches!