The Georgia Mountain Food Bank received an early Easter basket Tuesday when 54,000 eggs showed up at its loading dock.
The donation — in the form of 150 cases holding 360 eggs each — was made by Country Charm Eggs of Gillsvile as part of a national initiative organized by the hunger-relief charity Feeding America.
As the pallets were taken off the truck, food bank employee Randi Dyer said the eggs will quickly go to good use in many of the 34 local agencies the center serves.
"During this time, there are so many families that are in need," she said. "It gets harder and harder to make the dollar go further to buy healthy food for your family. And eggs are just nutritional, high in protein and will help add to a family's diet."
The food bank, located on Contrell Road in Flowery Branch, is an affiliate of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. The eggs will be stored at the facility in a refrigerated truck where they'll be picked up by workers from food pantries in Hall, Dawson, Forsyth, Lumpkin and Union counties.
Mike Dean, a volunteer with the South Hall Food Pantry, was on hand Monday to pick up the eggs for his center. He's been working with the pantry since 2007 and said eggs are one of the hardest items to keep on the shelves.
"There's been a lot of people coming by for food lately, more than I've seen since I've been there," he said. "... A lot of people seem to have been laid off right before Christmas."
Brent Booker, president of Country Charm, said eggs are an item not always found in food pantries, which is why his company has made a commitment to monthly donations as well as the annual Easter donation.
This is the fourth year the company has made this large drop-off at the food bank.
"We just feel like we've been so blessed," he said. "During this time when so many people are in need, you just have to give back to the community."