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Tour promoting healthy lifestyle, fighting hunger gets underway
Event an opportunity to 'take charge' of health
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What: Pop-Up Pantry Party launch

When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: East Hall Community Center, 3911 P. Davidson Road in Gainesville

Cost: Free

More info: or 678-995-9718

Gainesville will be the first stop of eight on the statewide Pop-Up Pantry Party tour.

“There are a lot of analytics and research done before making decisions on tour stop locations, but the biggest driver is need,” said Denise Malecki, public relations director for Amerigroup Community Care. “We made sure to schedule a stop in each of our Georgia regions and we chose cities based on density of need.”

The healthy lifestyle and hunger fighting tour will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the East Hall Community Center, 3911 P. Davidson Road.

Attendees will be given free family meal packages, learn from cooking demonstrations, receive health screenings and participate in Zumba and other fitness activities.

“It is not only an opportunity for people and families to get out and enjoy free food and fun, it is an opportunity to actively take charge of their health,” Malecki said.

Health questions and tips will also be provided by onsite clinicians about various topics such as obesity, diabetes, nutrition and wellness.

“We chose to structure the event as a family-friendly celebration and fair to offer individuals and family an opportunity to get out and have some fun bonding moments without the financial burden,” Malecki said.

Amerigroup Community Care, one of Georgia’s leading providers of Medicaid managed care benefits, sponsored the meal truck.

“It is basically a refrigerated box truck rather than an RV, and it will be full of packaged meals that will be distributed to event attendees,” Malecki said.

“Amerigroup has stayed committed to taking action to tackle our state’s most complex health disparities, and by improving access to healthy meals and health information, we are succeeding in improving health outcomes across our state,” said Urcel R. Fields, president of Amerigroup Georgia in a press release. “We are pleased to align our efforts with Action Ministries and look forward to building stronger communities together.”

The delivery truck will be unveiled at the event and moved to and from locations by Action Ministries workers.

Action Ministries is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that works to help those in need across Georgia.

“Action Ministries is privileged to have Amerigroup join us in the fight to break the cycle of poverty and enhance well being throughout our Georgia communities,” said Action Ministries interim President and CEO Kelley Henderson in a press release. “We believe that no family or individual should have to struggle with the burden of hunger or face the insecurity of their next meal.”

Eight other cities including Columbus, College Park, Macon, Marietta, Savannah, Albany and Augusta will be stops on the tour during March.