ATLANTA — With Georgia unemployment at record levels, thousands of families are in great need of food.
They are living day-to-day trying to figure out where their next meal will come from.
People in need are turning to more than 700 metro Atlanta food pantries and volunteer food stands who are getting their fresh produce, milk and staples from the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Kyle Waide, CEO of the Food Bank, said that with demand up 30 percent to 40 percent, he's never seen anything quite like what COVID-19 has created.
"This crisis has been unlike anything we have experienced before," he said. "We've been through Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the Great Recession, but this really exceeds all of them in scale and complexity."
The impact of the coronavirus has now forced the food bank to add schools, YMCA branches, and even hotel employee groups to its vast network.
And that means a far greater need for ample supplies of food and milk.
Publix, for one, just delivered 4,000 gallons of milk and a truckload of fresh produce to the Food Bank's inventory.
But what's now required to meet demand and the cost of getting it is mind-boggling.
"Because the food supply right now is tight, we are buying lots and lots of food," Waide said. "We are spending right now well north of $1 million a month and, in fact, in one week in April we spent $1 million just buying food."
"We are now distributing about two million pounds of food every week out to the community and we intend to sustain that over the next number of months," he added.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank said that, since mid-March, it has already received more than 16,000 website inquiries and 6,000 text messages for food pantry information and locations in Metro Atlanta.
You can join with the Atlanta Community Food Bank as it continues its focused mission by volunteering or donating money or food products.
Go to ACFB.org for details.