Moultrie Observer

Local News

November 12, 2012

Food bank already planning for Christmas distribution

Applications due Nov. 19

MOULTRIE — The Colquitt Food Bank has had much success over the years in stocking its shelves through community donations but where and how is the food distributed throughout the community?

“It takes very little to qualify for food. Just be hungry,” said Andy Jordan, director of the food bank.

Last Tuesday, Ronnie Marchant, president of Ameris Bank, and other bank employees made a presentation of food, which was collected during the bank’s annual food drive. This is the third year the bank has mounted the food drive and over 4,000 pounds of food, which is a total of 11,643 non-perishable items, was collected this year. Also a donation of $2,366 was presented to Jordan, which the corporate offices will match along with the food donation.

“It’s surprising how many people this will feed. It’s just great to have a community that cares,” Jordan told the group.

“It’s great to have you doing this kind of work,” replied Marchant.

“I don’t know who gets more blessed each year you or us,” added Ann Hoffman, a branch manager.

While the group was there, Jordan explained to them how the food was distributed to the families during Christmas and throughout the year.

“We give them enough food for at least ten days,” he said of the Christmas distribution.

He said the families would usually receive either a ham or a chicken, three vegetables, eggs, fruit, candy and cookies.

“It costs us in the neighborhood of $10,000 when we put it together for Christmas. We try to give away a good, balanced bag at Christmas. ... We will have cookies and candy for the children. It’s a special time of year for me,” he told them.

He said they distributed to over 600 families last year and plan to do the same this year. The distribution is made over two days and this was the only time of year that families would actually come to the food bank to get their bags of food, he said. He schedules a block of 50 families, every 30 minutes for pick-up.

“Everything is coordinated through DFACS,” he added.

Jordan said the families are qualified through DFACS ahead of time and the agency sends out cards in the mail to be filled out and that gives them a time and date to pick-up at the food bank.

“They bring that card. ... We keep a log of every family that gets food,” he said.

He said, for the Christmas distribution, families should contact DFACS to get on the mailing list and the deadline for turning in the applications this year is Nov. 19. The applications can be picked up at DFACS, from a school social worker, at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council or at the dialysis center, said Mary Webb, DFACS services tech.

“We go by the same guidelines as food stamps,” she said.

He also told the group that any church, business or organization, throughout the year, can have forms on-hand for individuals to fill out to get assistance from the food bank. Then, the entity would take the form to the food bank and be given the food to distribute to the individuals in need. Also, individuals in need can contact DFACS for the applications throughout the year.

“But mainly, it’s just letting us know. We have ample food. These people at the food bank touch a lot of people’s lives and can touch more,” said Jordan.

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