Atlanta City Councilmember Felicia Moore will honor Collins Memorial United Methodist Church with a proclamation as the church dedicates its new food pantry on wheels during a community celebration from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.
Collins Memorial United Methodist Church is located at 2220 Bolton Road, N.W.
During Wednesday’s celebration more than 500 families will also receive free food assistance as part of the church’s weekly food distribution. Each Wednesday, Collins Memorial provides approximately 30 pounds of food to needy families – all with a volunteer food pantry staff of 27.
The new mobile food pantry will be affectionately called the “Mary Grace Collins” Food Truck.
“It is an honor to join the community in dedicating the new food pantry, which will go far in expanding the church’s food distribution efforts in Atlanta,” said Councilmember Moore. “There is a growing need to bring healthy foods directly to neighborhoods where low-income people lack access to food-assistance programs and grocery stores. The truck will also go a long way to supplement the efforts of existing food-assistance programs that cannot provide enough items to feed a family. Collins Memorial United Methodist Church should certainly be commended for their work in our community.”
Organizations participating in Wednesday’s community celebration will include: the Georgia Coalition for The Peoples’ Agenda, the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library, the Agape Community Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Diabetes Association of Atlanta Minute Clinic, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, The Family Health Center at Bolton Village, the Young Generation Movement and the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Collins Memorial United Methodist Church Senior Choir.
Collins Memorial United Methodist Church has been active in the Bolton and Riverside communities since October 1909. Like most urban community churches, Collins Memorial has mirrored the plight of the socio-economic conditions of the area. The latest recession greatly impacted the community with its rising unemployment, plummeting property values, business closings and food insecurity.
In December 2009, as the economic recession worsened, the need for a faith driven community food pantry became clearly evident.
Utilizing a “fresh open-air market” approach, food distribution soon averaged 60 families per week. In June 2010, Collins Memorial instituted a Wednesday Worship Service, designed to “feed people’s souls, as well as their bodies.” 2011 saw the addition of a literacy class for persons seeking to earn their GED. In 2012, music ministry was added to the Wednesday Worship Service with a 20 member choir.
In May 2013, Collins Memorial was awarded a grant through the Atlanta Community Food Bank for capital improvements which has empowered the church to significantly increase food distribution. Now with the purchase of a used box cargo food truck, a walk-in freezer and refrigerator and increased storage space has turned their spiritual dreams into reality.
The new truck will be dedicated at 10:20 a.m. during the September 4th community celebration.
(Photo: Parishoners at Collins Memorial lined up to receive food. Courtesy of Collins Memorial Church.)