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Give thanks and food during the holidays
There are several opportunities this season to help the area's hungry
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How to help

Visit to donate online and learn about other ways to help, or call 770-534-4111 for more information.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 180,831 people living in Hall County, 30,379 people live in poverty and 23,146 rely on food stamps.

There are several ways to help feed these families and individuals as the holiday season grows closer.

“(The public) can always donate to the food bank year round,” said Kay Blackstock, executive director of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. “We always have our doors open.”

There are three main ways to help: food, time and money.

While donating directly to the food bank is always an option, plenty of local businesses, centers and groups are running food drives of their own.

“Gosh, they’re everywhere,” said Blackstock in reference to local food drives through the food bank. “’Tis the season, really.”

From Sunday to Dec. 24, Gainesville and Dawsonville area Krogers encourage customers to purchase $1, $3 or $5 icons through the food bank’s Can Hunger campaign, which benefits families in need of food.

Customers at Target stores in both Gainesville and Flowery Branch are participating in a food drive through Nov. 21.

Publix is providing a way to help the hungry in the community through “Food for Sharing.” From now until Thanksgiving, customers at any Publix market can contribute $5, $9 or $13 to pay for a meal for someone in need.

Contributing time is also an option. Anyone can volunteer to sort food at the food bank, coordinate a food drive or help with partnering agencies or other food bank programs.

The most beneficial way to help is by donating money to the food bank. This way, the organization can find the most economically efficient way to pay for the meals and deliver them to clients.

Blackstock said she remembers when she first joined the Georgia Mountain Food Bank and saw the difference in cost between donated food and food bought by the organization. She encourages members of the community to donate money, even a dollar, to the food bank to help feed those who do not have a stable food supply.

For more information on how to help, visit or call 770-534-4111.

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