ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena gathered 5,000 volunteers Saturday to pack more than one million meals.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, State Farm Senior Vice President Dan Krause, NBA Hall of Famer and Hawks Legend Dikembe Mutombo, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams all took part and thanked the community for support in the Million Meal Pack event.
According to a release, it was the Hawks' largest single-day community service initiative. Individuals, families, community groups, schools, churches and businesses gathered on the floor of the arena to pack alongside volunteers from U.S. Hunger. In total, they packed a total of 1,019,232 meals.
There were a total of six 90-minute shifts during the event, which resulted in:
- 169,872 bags of food
- 130,943 pounds of food
- 3,539 boxes of food
- 288 meals per box
- 48 bags per box
“We are very grateful for all of today’s volunteers and extremely proud of the results from today’s Million Meal Pack in partnership with State Farm,” Steve Koonin said, CEO of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. “We understand that it is a huge undertaking to tackle food insecurity throughout Atlanta, and we believe that this one-day community service initiative will make an incredible impact and also inspire our communities throughout metro Atlanta.”
The meals will be given throughout the metro Atlanta community with the help of hunger relief organizations to help combat food insecurity. Additionally, 10 other local organizations: Atlanta Community Food Bank, CHRIS 180, City of Refuge, Fountain of Hope, Georgia State University Panther’s Pantry, Goodr, Meals On Wheels Atlanta, Mimi’s Pantry and Second Helpings Atlanta will also help distribute the meals.
After packing the meals, volunteers celebrated on State Farm Drive with games, refreshments and music.
"We take it for granted because we can just go in the kitchen, go in the cupboard, go in the cabinet... and a lot of people don't have that," Volunteer Leslie Dove said. "So, anything that I can do to help somebody, be able to go in the cabinet and get something to eat, I'm all for it."