As many of us try to get back to some sense of “normalcy” in our lives, it can be easy to forget the hardships that some of our neighbors are continuing to endure. At the same time, it can also be easy to forget the armies of tireless volunteers that are still working hard each and every week to help our neighbors get through these uncertain times.
“Many thanks. May God multiply your blessings today and forever for sharing your food with us. My family is made up of 6 people. I appreciate it so much. Amen.”
“Thank you for the food you have given us. We have been out of work for one month. God Bless you.”
“Thank you for the unconditional help. God Bless you.”
“I give you many thanks. God bless you. I was left without a job. My two daughters and I thank you.”
Testimonials like these are far more common than they should be. But, the groups below are doing the work to make sure that our neighbors are taken care of.
Jennifer Barnes with Solidarity Food Pantry, located 120 Northwood Drive, Suite 115 here in Sandy Springs and Jen Lott, the president of the Sandy Springs Charter Middle School Food Pantry, located at Samad Grill are just two of the groups lending a helping hand.
Together, they are distributing food 3 times a week to between 150 to 200 families, mostly to communities of color. The pantries are well run and offer wholesome nutrition with fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
The families are given the opportunity to “shop” for groceries at each of these locations. Not only that, but they are providing a respectful and positive, socially-distanced experience during these difficult times.
Another great group is the Community Assistance Center (CAC) — the main non-profit organization for food distribution to families in need. Back in March of this year, Tamara Carrera, the executive director of CAC, said she welcomed the additional pop-up pantries due to the high degree of need in the community.
At that time, CAC had not yet implemented its home delivery service. Now, they are delivering food to families who are unable to make the journey from the Prado area to CAC’s center on Roswell Road. This is fantastic news, especially considering that at least 3,000 families in Sandy Springs don’t have a car.
Not only that, but CAC also helps many of these families with rent assistance. To date, they have paid $780,000 in rent payments on behalf of their clients — 82% of whom are minorities. During the last several months many of these families have lost hours from their jobs, while some even lost their jobs entirely. CAC has a program where they will negotiate a reduced rent with the landlord and then help the family with their rent so that the family can remain in their home.
These organizations are what make Sandy Springs a special place. Neighbors pulling together to help neighbors get through a difficult time.