Action Ministries, a United Methodist-related agency, and Feed the Hungry Foundation, Inc., best known for its distribution of food boxes at Christmastime, today announced the organization will merge operations with Action Ministries in order to give the people of Georgia increased access to hunger solutions and to serve clients and communities more efficiently.
“Action Ministries is well-known for mobilizing communities to address the challenges of poverty by focusing together on housing, hunger and education,” said John R. Moeller, Jr., president and CEO of Action Ministries, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013. “Combining our statewide presence with the resources of an organization like Feed the Hungry Foundation, which is focused exclusively on meeting the hunger demands of those in need, will enable us to strategically expand our hunger initiatives so that we can help even more Georgians than ever before.”
“For 35 years the Feed the Hungry Foundation has worked with its community partners to meet the growing demand for food,” said the Rev. Mack H. Barnes, III, executive director of the Feed the Hungry Foundation, Inc. “Our efforts have led us to the point where we now serve more than one million meals annually throughout metropolitan Atlanta and north Georgia with no decline in demand in sight. Becoming a part of the Action Ministries family will enable us to meet that increasing demand and have access to the logistics that will enable us to dramatically grow the number of hungry families we serve, which has been a personal dream of mine for years.”
According to Moeller and Barnes, the goal of the merger is to expand the program opportunities and outcomes for both agencies while improving operational efficiency, fundraising capacity and program capacity. The combined organization will leverage Feed the Hungry Foundation’s food donations program and efficiently-run warehouse with Action Ministries’ statewide and local network of community partners to create a “hub & spoke” distribution model that will enable the entity to maximize its resources and more successfully meet the growing need for food in communities throughout north Georgia.
Action Ministries shares Feed the Hungry’s commitment to addressing the hunger challenges of those in need and in 2012 launched its new Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program. Created to assist the more than
800,000 students in Georgia who receive a free or reduced-price lunch during the school year the program helps those young people who do not have access to this important meal when the school year ends.
Due to overwhelming community support, the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program that was expected to serve 100,000 healthy lunches to Georgia children during its first year of operation was instead able to serve 117,000 lunches in 18 cities across the state.
Feed the Hungry Foundation, Inc. has strong relationships with several food industry providers serving Georgia, including Lakeland, Florida-based Publix Super Markets, Inc. The Publix Food for Sharing program provides food for hundreds of hungry families through generous donations from shoppers, a major portion of which goes to Feed the Hungry Foundation for distribution throughout the year.
The Food for Sharing donations enable Feed the Hungry Foundation, Inc. to operate its food box program that provides those in need with a box of food containing the equivalent of over $30 worth of groceries or enough to feed a family of four for several days. As a result of the merger, the boxes will be available to select community partners for distribution in their local areas. Churches can obtain the food boxes to service their shut-in ministries, less fortunate parishioners or needy local citizens. Civic groups can obtain them to give to schools or to distribute during the holidays. Partners in education, such as Parent-Teacher Associations, may obtain them to serve school families that the teachers or school social workers know are food insecure.
Barnes will remain with Feed the Hungry and the organization will maintain its commitment to its popular volunteer program that provides organizations of all types with team-building opportunities. In just two hours of service, 15 volunteers can pack approximately 200 boxes and experience the hands-on joy of serving their neighbors. Feed the Hungry qualifies as an approved service organization for Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups, high school seniors and college students working toward meeting community service hour requirements.
For information about how to support Feed the Hungry and Action Ministries or to learn about volunteer opportunities visit www.ActionMinistries.net.
About Action Ministries
Action Ministries is a United Methodist-related organization that mobilizes communities to address the challenges of poverty by focusing together on housing, hunger and education. In Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Decatur, Gainesville, and Rome, and through programs such as Breakthru House, Our Daily Bread, Action Ministries Housing and the Smart Lunch, Smart Kid child nutrition initiative, Action Ministries is serving more Georgians than ever before. For more information visit www.actionministries.net or www.facebook.com/ActionMinistriesGeorgia.
About Feed the Hungry Foundation
Founded in 1977, Feed the Hungry Foundation, Inc. began as a project of a fraternal business organization and until 1985 was a seasonal ministry helping families only at Christmas. Today, major distribution still takes place at Christmas, but the foundation helps between 15,000-20,000 families a year, representing approximately 90,000 individuals. Nearly 60 percent of the food the foundation provides goes to children under the age of 18. The Foundation provides over 1,000,000 meals annually throughout the city of Atlanta and much of north Georgia.