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Letter: Ga. Mountain Food Bank meets its goals thanks to community’s help
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Hundreds attend the annual Empty Bowl Lunch benefiting Georgia Mountain Food Bank held Sept. 26 at the First Baptist Church banquet hall. - photo by Scott Rogers

On behalf of the thousands served each month through the partner agencies and programs of Georgia Mountain Food Bank, I want to thank this community for its overwhelming support of our mission to end hunger in Northeast Georgia. It’s a bold goal, supported by a loving community that understands our purpose and entrusts its resources to us. We have come such a long way on this journey since our humble beginning. 

At the end of 2008, we launched the Georgia Mountain Food Bank after years of preparation. Since then, more than 35 million pounds of food have been distributed through our partner agencies and programs. We could have not imagined it. We set out to make a difference and clearly we have, but it was only achieved through the support of the communities we serve. We had to be clear in purpose and consistent with our message “till no one Is hungry.”

The ninth annual Empty Bowl Lunch was held Sept. 26 in the beautiful banquet hall of First Baptist Church Gainesville. As guests started to arrive, the facility came alive with an energy that only occurs at the Empty Bowl. Over 800 friends attended this year, a record for the event. It was humbling and joyful to look out at the room of smiling friends. It was undeniably a day of celebration and unity, aligned to a common goal. 

I find myself searching for a way to say thank you that adequately reflects my gratitude to the community, guests, sponsors, bowl painters, volunteers, board members and every soul attached to that gathering and its success. I believe the best way to honor you all is to lead this organization with integrity, determination and mindfulness, and to educate and empower others to understand and address hunger as it exists among us. As hunger affects people from all walks of life, there is no stereotype and no judgement to be made. This challenge is not one that should lead us to be divisive but united to end hunger here. 

There’s much work to do ahead and great opportunities to make changes that will improve the quality of life for all. Will you join me?

Kay Blackstock

Executive Director, Georgia Mountain Food Bank 

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