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Community comes together to help feed families during coronavirus outbreak

As schools cancel classes and people are encouraged to stay home, concern grows over food concerns. Here's how you can help in your community.

ATLANTA — As COVID-19 concerns have canceled a lot of events in and around Atlanta, community members are coming together to make sure people don't go without food.

Instead of feeling helpless, we want to give you ways to help out. Below are some resources we have found that are fighting hunger in our communities. 

Open Hands Atlanta 

The non-profit Open Hands Atlanta, helps provide nutritional meals to the medically fragile. The group says it relies on the support of company volunteer days to get meals prepped and ready to go. 

But with more employees being asked to work from home, those volunteer work days have also been cancelled. Open Hands says it has immediate need for packers and for those concerned about being around too many people at once. They also need drivers to deliver meals. 

You would travel in your own car and deliveries are made at the door. Open Hands is also asking anyone with access to a 60 foot refrigerated trailer or some other means of commercial refrigeration to contact them. They need more space while trying to prepare an increased number of meals for delivery.

MUST Ministries 

As schools are canceling, the concern over kids in low income areas getting healthy meals, increases. 

MUST Ministries is setting up a food rapid response team to make sure not only the children receiving free and reduced lunches get access to food, but also their parents. 

MUST already serves 1,500 families through its neighborhood pantries, located within several Cobb and Cherokee county schools. 

Cobb County says its working with MUST to help distribute any of its perishable food to families in need, but the organization says it has some other basics it needs to make sure families are taken care of. 

It’s created an Amazon wish list. You can order the food directly through Amazon, or purchase items at your own store and drop it off at one of their drive thru sites.

Drive-thru drop off sites:

1280 Field Parkway, Marietta, Georgia

111 Brown Industrial Parkway, Canton, Georgia

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is trying to help another group of our vulnerable populations, senior citizens. 

The organization usually delivers meals two or three times a week but is instead trying to get them enough food to last at least two weeks, in case coronavirus impacts a large number of volunteers. 

They are hosting Super Saturdays, a delivery effort March 21 and 28. They are also asking for volunteers to help pack food boxes next week for delivery.

"We have to ensure that their meal service is not interrupted. It has to be nutritious because again, food is medicine," said Hillary Baker, who does marketing for Meals on Wheels Atlanta.  

Their goal each weekend is to deliver 3,000 frozen meals and 12,000 shelf stable meals. Meals on Wheels says it’s having to buy more food and faster than normal, so donations are certainly welcome.

Atlanta Community Food Bank 

The Atlanta Community Food Bank's annual Hunger Walk Run scheduled for Sunday has been canceled over COVID-19 concerns. 

In an attempt to keep the fundraiser going, the organization has announced they will be doing a virtual event.

Instead of gathering for the community walk, they want you to make a donation online and then post a picture from home.

According to their website, they have raised $382,988. 

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