Acworth police transform part of old jail into emergency food pantry

The Acworth Police Department has a new way to help community members in desperate situations. 

"We recognize there's a need in our community for emergency food, for emergency situations," said Jaime Mullinax with the Acworth Police Department. 

Police are using part of the old jail to do it. Just down the hall from the jail cells and stacks of black and white striped inmate uniforms, officers have built a food pantry. 

"If our officers come across someone in the middle of the night who doesn't have anything to feed their kids the next morning, this is a place the officers can come to get them food," said Mullinax. 

Crime Victim Advocate for the Acworth police, Emily Hall, says there are more emergency situations than most of us realize. 

"Maybe we have a domestic violence victim who needs help getting out of a situation, and we can put them in a hotel for the night, but they don't have any food," said Hall. 

The food pantry just opened a few days ago, but donations are already coming in. People have been dropping off non-perishable food, as well as soap, shampoo and other hygiene products. 

"We can put together an emergency food package for them to hold them over until we can get those longer-term resources to them," said Hall. 

Police say while it's a way to step in during a dire situation, the relationships they form will last much longer. 

"This builds a great strong bond with the community knowing we're here to help them out and they can always trust the police department to help the community.," said Acworth Police Cpl. Eric Mistretta. 

While there's a big push in May to stock the pantry, the police department will be accepting donations year-round to keep it full. Donations can be dropped off in the lobby of the police department.