Rock Bridge Community Church in Dalton has partnered with the Northwest Georgia Branch of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank to engage in the fight against hunger. The church is sponsoring a mobile food distribution on Saturday at 9 a.m. for 150 families in need who were identified by social workers at Roan Street Elementary.
Each family will receive 15 pounds of non-perishable foods and 10 pounds of fresh produce, a total equivalent of 3,125 meals. It is the first of several food deliveries Rock Bridge Community Church has committed to sponsor through the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
The church recently launched a new community outreach initiative called HOPE, an effort to mobilize the church in a more strategic way to bring hope to communities in northwest Georgia. As a part of this initiative, church members agreed to sponsor several mobile food deliveries to feed families in need in northwest Georgia.
“We are doing this because there is a great need in our community,” says Matt Evans, lead pastor of Rock Bridge Community Church. “Until we are able to see children and families in Whitfield County move closer to food security, we must do whatever we can. The Northwest Georgia Branch of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank has the resources to help meet these needs; they just need the sponsors and volunteers to help make it happen. We believe this is one of the many ways that Rock Bridge can be the hands and feet of Christ to our community.”
There are approximately 160,000 food insecure individuals living in the 20-county service area of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, representing one in six adults and as many as one in three children who struggle with hunger. Mobile food distributions are a way to deliver food to those who need it most, especially to children, whose emotional, physical, and cognitive development depends on regular access to healthful food, officials said.
“We recently learned of a family in Whitfield County with nine children who were struggling to afford $250 per month in rent,” says Pastor Evans. “If they can’t afford their rent, we know there must be a challenge to feed nine children. With the dramatic increase of children living in poverty in Whitfield County, we must help in any way that we can.”
The Chattanooga Area Food Bank serves nine counties in northwest Georgia and 11 counties in southeast Tennessee. Their mission is to lead a network of partners in eliminating hunger and promoting better nutrition. They work through a 380-member network of partner agencies, including Rock Bridge Community Church, to fight hunger.
Mr. Evans says the church was motivated to help due to the dramatic increase in poverty in their own back yard and the realization that they as a church might be able to help people in need by partnering with the local food bank to sponsor the food deliveries. Other organizations or businesses interested in sponsoring mobile food deliveries can contact the Chattanooga Area Food Bank at 622-1800.