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Atlanta nonprofit struggles to find delivery drivers to get food to people in need

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine Atlanta said it's feeling the impact of inflation, as rising gas prices are one reason it believes volunteer drivers are hard to find.

ATLANTA — The need is greater than ever for getting people in Atlanta fed, according to one nonprofit.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine Atlanta takes excess food from things like events or restaurants, packs it up and delivers it to delivers it to places like homeless shelters or food pantries.

"Well, it would otherwise go in the trash. So, we are taking that food to the people who need it. We like to say we feed people, not landfills," said Kristan Newman, the branch manager for the nonprofit.

RLC Atlanta reported one in eight people in Atlanta are food insecure. The organization also said that 36% of Georgians who are food insecure are above the federal poverty line, making them ineligible for food assistance programs. It said this is why it’s so important to get that potentially wasted food to people in need.

However, the nonprofit is struggling to do just that. Newman said volunteer drivers are hard to find, in part thanks to the pandemic and inflation causing gas prices to rise. It is problematic considering there is a potential for the nonprofit to donate so much more food.

"It's been hard on everyone. You know, it's been hard on us to get volunteers. But also, the need for the food has just increased dramatically," she added

Newman said RLC Atlanta has a waitlist of 16 food donors and eight nonprofit recipient partners waiting to use its services. However, in order to help them, the nonprofit needs volunteers to take the food from point A to B.

"I do about an hour a week and every time I do, I save enough food to feed someone for about a month," said Sean Doherty, a volunteer with RLC Atlanta. "So with a small amount of time, you really can have a huge impact."

Newman said RLC Atlanta works to keep the locations within 10 miles of each other.

"So even though gas prices are high and inflation is high, I understand it's very difficult for people out there right now," she said. "But we try to do the best that we can to try to make sure that the cost is as low as possible for the volunteer."

Newman said the miles make a difference.

"When you take this food to these recipients, they will tell you their story. They will talk about how much they need this food, and it really is rewarding," she explained. "So, if you're willing to put in that little bit of gas money, then you will get so much back for it."

If you want to volunteer with RLC Atlanta, click here.

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