A million kids in Georgia will soon be at risk of summer hunger. Here’s how you can help.

When schools went virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued school nutrition waivers that allowed all students to receive free meals without paperwork or red tape. Coronavirus response legislation also permitted schools to provide “summer or school vacation service.”

That program is set to expire on June 30, leaving more than a million Georgia kids without a safety net for half of this summer. Although the expiration of emergency coronavirus legislation and assistance would appear to signal a return to “normalcy,” countless families are still struggling to cope with inflation and a shortage of affordable housing.

HOPE Atlanta’s Smart Lunch Smart Kid program, which began as a program of Action Ministries, has helped fill the summer food gap for school children since 2012. These services have become even more critical now. With a goal of feeding as many Georgia kids as possible over the summer, the program needs more volunteers.

“So many of these children are on free or reduced-price meals at school, so they are missing these meals during the summer months and extended school holidays,” said Amy Olvey, HOPE Atlanta’s Director of Community Engagement. “What we do at HOPE Atlanta is we step in and provide these families with security so that they know where they’re going to get their meals through the summer months.”

How you can help keep Georgia kids fed this summer

The Smart Lunch Smart Kid program is looking for volunteers to deliver meals to neighborhoods and other locations in Fulton and Carroll counties.

Interested in helping out this summer? Here’s a list of our current Smart Lunch Smart Kid distribution sites where volunteers are needed. You can find more information about pickup times, COVID precautions, and addresses on the individual SignUp Genius pages. Please bring an empty bin or laundry basket to pick up meals.

Fulton County Distribution Volunteer Opportunities

Long View Mobile Homes
Sign up here

Martel Homes
Sign up here

West Point View Apartments
Sign up here

Carroll County Distribution Volunteer Opportunities

SOMA Apartments
Sign up here

Neva Lomason Library
Sign up here

Lakeview/Paradise Apartments
Sign up here

Knox Park
Sign up here

Carrollton Upper Elementary School
Sign up here

Catherine Hardy Water Park
Sign up here

Although there’s an acute need for summer volunteers to make the Smart Lunch Smart Kid program possible, HOPE Atlanta needs volunteers year-round. We welcome individuals and groups, and there are several ways to participate virtually for those still avoiding in-person gatherings. Read our last blog post to learn about what it’s like to volunteer for HOPE Atlanta, and click here to see a list of all volunteer needs.

Short on time, but want to make an impact? Donations to HOPE Atlanta help meet a dire need: keeping Georgia families and individuals in stable housing, with nourishing food on the table.

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HOPE Atlanta

HOPE Atlanta

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Our vision is to end homelessness and hunger for every Georgian.