SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- In just days, the shelves at theCommunity Assistance Centerwent from empty to full.
"Words fail me when it comes to properly thanking everyone for the amazing generosity with talent, treasure, and time,"Executive Director Tamara Carrera said.
11Alive first told you about the center's struggle to keep up with the growing demand last week. After that call for help, they were able to collect $11,000 in donations and 15,000 pounds of food. Temple Sinai was the biggest contributor. Volunteers from UPS gave their time to collect, transport, and sort it all.
Earlier this month, the Sandy Springs-based nonprofit put out an emergency call for donations after it was forced to turn away some families in need.
"The demand and supply is not matching," said Carrera. "We see a lot of food going out and not enough food coming in."
Demand is up 51 percent compared to 2011. Carrera said not only are more families asking for help, but she also sees more families making multiple visits every month.
"I used to be one of those people who made good money, and I would donate to organizations like this," said Myriam Taylor, who stopped by the Community Assistance Center to pick up groceries for her husband and their three children.
"I never thought I would find myself in this situation," she added. "I lost my job. Now I'm employed, again, full-time with benefits. But the money coming in is not enough to make ends meet for my family."
Carerra said Sandy Springs is a city of extremes. It's considered one of the wealthiest cities in the country, and yet there are a lot of people who struggle to make ends meet while working minimum-wage service jobs.
"You see what they call food insecurity," Carerra said. "It's not that they don't have any food at all. They have a limited amount of food. In a family, if you have food for three days, not five, then the kids eat but mother eats every other day."
Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs responded to the CAC's call for donations with a delivery of 1,300 pounds of food collected through the congregation's High Holy Days Food Drive.
"It's the first time I've noticed there's no soup and hardly any peanut butter or canned vegetables," said CAC volunteer Myron Smith, who attends Temple Sinai. "This is just the first delivery."
Temple Sinai planned a second delivery of 5,000 pounds of food on Saturday.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank also delivered donations to the Community Action Center last week.
Officials with the ACFB said they're seeing an increase in requests from partner agencies such as the CAC, and theirinventory is moving out as fast as it's coming in.
Healthy soups are in high demand at the CAC since they're inexpensive but can serve as a meal.
You can bring donations directly to the food pantry, located in the back of the building at the garage door at1130 Hightower Trail in Sandy Springs.
Here are the delivery days and times:
Monday - Thursday
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
First & Second Saturdays of the month, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The Community Assistance Center is holding a fundraiser on October 5. It's the11th annual Vintage Affair, which runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church.
The event features live and silent auctions, live musical entertainment, food samples from local restaurants and wine tastings.
Tickets are $110 per person/$200 per couple and are available online at www.vintageaffair.org.