Members of the local congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are participating in a food drive called “Lend a Hand, Give a Can” with the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
The food drive is through Sept. 14.
This will be the second year the church participates in a food drive with the food bank. Last year, they collected more than 55,000 pounds of food.
The goal for this year is to reach 150,000 pounds collectively with 50 other congregations of the Latter-day Saints church throughout the metro and northern Atlanta areas.
“Individuals and families representing more than 50 of our congregations will be going out into their communities to team up with neighbors and local businesses to accomplish the goal of collecting and delivering 150,000 pounds of food to the Food Bank,” said Watson Nichols, an ecclesiastical leader who oversees 10 congregations of the church.
The food drive is helping to kick off September’s Hunger Action Month, a national movement to raise awareness and fight hunger in America. According to Feeding America’s data, more than one in every four Georgia children, 28.8 percent of the children, now live in food insecure households.
Seeing the needs of so many of their neighbors, members of the LDS church wanted to help by gathering food donations. They will be going to friends and family handing out bags to collect donations.
They plan to work with the community, businesses, other churches and school organizations, and they will host events such as car washes to raise awareness and collect cans.
“Our church is just the coordinating entity overseeing a true neighborhood drive effort,” Nichols said. “The church views itself as a vital component of each community in which it is located. We are privileged to team up with the Atlanta Food Bank to provide assistance for those who are in need and have committed to make this a yearly event. Last year’s drive collected 55,000 pounds of non-perishable items for the ACFB. This year we plan to triple our efforts.”
Those who would like to participate or make food donations to the food drive can visit www.giveacan.org for more information.
Food donations can be made at several drop-off points throughout the metro-Atlanta area. Items most needed include peanut butter, canned tuna, canned beans, canned soups, pasta, 100 percent fruit juice, canned fruits/vegetables, rice and whole grain cereals.