When Dunwoody resident Heather Schlesinger worked for Krystal, her kids told their friends, “Mom makes square hamburgers.” Today, they say with pride, “Mom works at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and feeds hungry kids.”
As chief marketing officer for the last three years, Schlesinger says that although the jobs are similar, her current position is a lot more rewarding—but also more challenging.
Those challenges have become exponentially greater during the pandemic that has generated a 300% increase in inquiries from people seeking food assistance in Georgia. “Food insecurity affects people from all walks of life, and we now provide 30 to 40% more meals every week than we did at this time last year,” she says. “One in four kids goes to bed hungry, and school meals are likely the only food they get.” With so many students studying remotely, the Food Bank is working with districts and nonprofits to distribute meals to kids who are no longer in brick-and-mortar schools.
“Our biggest challenge in 2020 was having to close our doors to the 30,000 people who volunteer annually,” she says. “Fortunately, Governor Brian Kemp shared the Georgia National Guard, which allowed us to continue doing our work.”
A donation of $5 provides four meals, Schlesinger says. “Since families can’t currently visit loved ones, homebound seniors and people with disabilities rely on us and our network of partners, too. I hope people will consider giving generously.”
For more information, visit acfb.org.
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