Atlantans are going out of their way to help restaurants and bars they love survive the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This includes replacing dining out with ordering food for takeout and delivery, purchasing gift cards and merch from favorite establishments, donating to staff fundraisers, and tipping their favorite bartenders through sites like TIPSYATL or Service Industry Tips. But there are plenty of food-related charities and nonprofits around Atlanta also struggling to hang on during the global health crisis.
Send Eater Atlanta details on other food-related charities and nonprofit organizations helping to feed communities in need around the metro area.
Donate funds or food to Atlanta Community Food Bank. ACFB works with 600 nonprofits to provide over 60 million meals a year to people throughout Atlanta and north Georgia. The organization has become a critical resource for many who now find themselves unemployed due the pandemic, including those within Atlanta’s restaurant industry. Consider donating to other local community food banks, too.
Community social justice nonprofits One Small Change and Out of Hand Theater are teaming up to host 1,500 dinners over the next three years to help facilitate and build upon conversations surrounding race and equity. The dinners, an offshoot of the “Decatur Dinners” series, typically begin with a short play before dinner and frank discussion begin. Dinners are typically held at homes, places of worship, restaurants, and community centers, and include up to ten people. The goal is to kick off the Atlanta series with a set of dinners hosting 500 people this fall.
Giving Kitchen provides financial aid to Georgia-based restaurant and food industury workers facing financial hardships or a health crisis. There’s options to set up a one-time or recurring donation.
This organization provides meals, groceries, and other vital home services to Georgia’s and Atlanta’s elderly population and others who cannot leave their homes due to medical conditions or other extenuating circumstances.
This nonprofit community activist group champions the businesses, restaurants, and immigrant populations living along and around the Buford Highway corridor throughout metro Atlanta. Memberships and donations to the organization help fund initiatives like the oral history project, sidewalk and park revitalization measures, and most recently, allowing the organization to supply vital resources and information to businesses and restaurants struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The nonprofit helps support over 1.4 million food insecure families throughout Atlanta and Georgia by providing them with access to fresh and healthy foods. This includes helping to match SNAP and double SNAP benefits at grocery stores and farmers markets around the state. Donations are key to continue the work the organization does to combat food insecurity in Georgia.
Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture is a local farm initiative that helps to educate and feed urban communities within Atlanta. The center provides classes on gardening and farming, features produce at local farmers markets, and includes event facility rental at its Collegetown farm in West End. This year, Truly Living Well is launching a mobile farmers market called “TLW Farm on Wheels”. The new farm vehicle allows Truly Living Well to provide food insecure communities around Atlanta with access to healthy, fresh produce. The center is hoping to raise funds to continue the farm on wheels program in order to help provide food and cooking demos at area schools, senior centers, and hospitals around Atlanta.
Umi Feeds is an Atlanta-based food rescue nonprofit serving healthy meals to Atlanta’s homeless population via a mobile dinner service. Food rescued to create meals comes from local farms, grocery stores, area chefs, catering companies, and everyday Atlantans where produce, meats, and other food products might otherwise go to waste or unused. Umi Feeds also hands out personal care items, clothing, sanitary products, and blankets during the mobile dinner runs, in addition to providing meals. Donate through Cash App: $UmiFeedsInc or PayPal: Umifeeds@gmail.com.
Restaurants Feeding Communities in Need
Restaurants around metro Atlanta have become takeout and delivery joints overnight and laid off or furloughed hundreds of employees. Despite these financial hardships, many restaurants are finding ways to continue serving their communities beyond the dining room. Staplehouse joined forces with Giving Kitchen to launch “The Giving Soup Kitchen” out of the tasting menu restaurant on Edgewood Avenue. It’s meant to provide meals (at no cost) to out-of-work service industry people caught in the wake of abrupt layoffs. Chef Linton Hopkins and Gina Hopkins joined chef and restaurateur Edward Lee’s nationwide effort “Restaurant Workers Relief Program” to provide free boxes of essential food and household supplies to out-of-work Atlanta-area restaurant employees. #ATLFAMILYMEAL, founded by Michael Lennox of Electric Hospitality (Golden Eagle, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Muchacho), teamed up with several other Atlanta restaurants to prepare and deliver meals to the area’s unemployed hospitality workers and their families. Charitable initiatives like these — both large and small — are taking place throughout Atlanta’s restaurant industry. These efforts often rely on the generosity of diners to help restaurants continue funding the soup kitchen and meal service operations, some of which also deliver meals to healthcare workers assisting COVID-19 patients.
Stay home if sick. Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for guidance and twice-daily updates on the latest number of reported COVID-19 cases.