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Georgia Mountain Food Bank receives supplies for local schools

POSTED: November 18, 2013 10:09 p.m.

The season of giving is already underway in Gainesville.

Early Monday morning, the Georgia Mountain Food Bank waited on a truck filled with 10 pallets of school supplies to make its delivery.

The shipment, including notebooks, paper, crayons and other supplies, came from the Atlanta Community Food Bank as part of its Kids In Need program.

The program focuses on providing school and office supplies to staff in public schools where 80 percent or more of the students are enrolled in a free or reduced-price lunch program.

Fair Street School, Gainesville Exploration Academy and New Holland Core Knowledge Academy, all in the Gainesville school system, are the recipients of the supplies, which are scheduled to be picked up and delivered by the school system today.

Jarod Anderson, director of learning support for Gainesville City Schools, said the donation program has benefited the school system over the years.

“I think we’ve been doing this now for three years,” he said. “A good bit of the supplies are for teachers — supplies that teachers use to aid with instruction.”

Anderson mentioned this was the first year the schools received a significant amount of furniture, such as file cabinets and desk chairs, in addition to the more common school supplies.

“Any little bit helps, so it’s really been a blessing to receive these supplies for the last couple of years,” he added.

Kay Blackstock, executive director of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank, spoke highly of the program.

“So many people I know in the community that are teachers marvel at that program, because they often go and spend their own money on some of the supplies that they can get through this program, which makes a huge difference,” she said.

“They’re already scrambling on their salaries, much less having to go out and buy things the children need. Many children are sent to school without (supplies). It’s a win-win situation.”

Blackstock said the Georgia Mountain Food Bank has partnered with the Atlanta Community Food Bank for five years, and part of their relationship involves serving as a redistribution partner.

In the case of the Kids In Need program, the local food bank brings the supplies up from Atlanta to its facility and distributes them accordingly.

“We’re fortunate, being able to have the facility to accommodate a donation like that,” she said.

“It all boils down to working together. ... Just them having the willingness to work with us on school supplies, on resources, it makes it possible for us to touch thousands of lives that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach.”


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