Food pantries have food, now they need volunteers to help distribute it

When the coronavirus pandemic hit and people started losing their jobs, local charities stepped in to help families with food. In Cobb County, food donations continue to come in, but now organizations need more volunteers to help distribute the food.

"The amount of families we help is probably three times higher than what these organizations saw last year," said Shari Martin, the Executive Director of the Cobb Community Foundation.

Martin says there are a little more than 40 locations in Cobb County helping to feed more than 5000 families in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Martin says food donations have been tremendous and continue to come in, but now many organizations are short volunteers.

"A lot of volunteers are older and more reticent to get out in the COVID crisis, so that typical volunteer base isn't there.  If we had them, we could put 100 volunteers to work this weekend at different organizations in the county," said Martin.

At Reflections of Trinity food pantry in Powder Springs, they get 40 pallets of food each week.  

"Each item has to come off that truck, onto a dolly, sorted, put on shelves, or in the cooler.  It's a lot of work," said food pantry director Rhonda Kelly.

The food then has to be sorted and packed up to be handed out on Saturday mornings.  Some food is given to other ministries and to senior centers.

"Each box we give away is about 50 or 60 pounds to the tune of about 1200 boxes a week.  We just need more people.  I need a couple of teams of people," said Kelly.

If you want to volunteer but don't know where to begin, you can go to CobbCommunityConnection.org, fill out your location, availability, and your interests to find a place where you can volunteer.