Atlanta Students at Benjamin Mays High Get Break from Food Insecurity With Help From Kroger

The U.S. Department of Agriculture considers a neighborhood a food desert if at least a fifth of residents live in poverty and a third live more than a mile from a supermarket in urban areas, or more than 10 miles in rural areas, where residents are more likely to have cars. 

Georgia has one of the highest densities of so-called food deserts in the nation, with more than 35 identified in Atlanta.

“One in eight Georgians face hunger, and one in seven are children,” the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Joy Goetz told a Senate Study Committee on Improving Access to Healthy Foods and Ending Food Deserts.  

Now the supermarket giant, Kroger, after years of being criticized for closing stores in primarily Black urban communities across the country, is taking action against food insecurity for students in partnership with a public school in Atlanta. The grocery store chain has helped open a food pantry at Benjamin E. Mays High School in the southwestern part of the city.

According to WSB-TV, the free resource for students to receive meals outside of the cafeteria officially started on Monday, Aug. 28. A crucial addition to the new school year, the food pantry will help students who struggle with food insecurities outside of class have the items needed to avoid going hungry.
 
Kroger’s Zero Hunger-Zero Waste foundation led to the creation of this new outlet for students to obtain food, with its first installment starting at Mays High School. Their goal, according to Tammie Young-Enaemba, the manager of corporate affairs for Kroger’s Atlanta division, is to build ways to ensure students’ main concern is not how they will eat, but how they will succeed.
 
“This high school food pantry will help ensure students can focus on their education instead of hunger,” shared Young-Ennaemba.
 
The unveiling of the food pantry was met with support from the Atlanta community, including Mayor Andre Dickens. The elected official took part in the ceremony at his alma mater, leading the ribbon cutting for the charitable event.
 
“More than half a million residents in metro Atlanta are projected to be food insecure and a rise in food prices has caught many of our neighbors off guard so it becomes incumbent on us to look out for each other and help each other as best we can. Thank you to Kroger for stepping up and putting in on this group project,” shared Mayor Dickens.
 
The pantry is fully-stocked with all the essential food items for one’s pantry, being a resource for students at Mays and across Atlanta Public Schools f

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