In Celebration of National Volunteer Month, Brownieland is featuring Second Helpings Atlanta, a nonprofit food rescue organization dedicated to fighting hunger and reducing food waste in metro Atlanta. With the help of passionate and dedicated volunteers, Second Helpings Atlanta (SHA) performs dozens of food rescues every day and distributes them to communities throughout Atlanta. SHA recognizes that a key to their success is offering a rich, rewarding volunteer experience that has a significant impact on the community without having a big impact on people’s busy schedules.
When we volunteered with Second Hand Atlanta, the Brownieland Team experienced firsthand the incredible work this organization does to make a difference in the Atlanta community. Volunteers serve as the link between the SHA network of Food Donors who donate the food and Partner Agencies who distribute it to those in need. Throughout April, in honor of National Volunteer Month, you can acknowledge a dedicated volunteer by donating to SHA’s food rescue mission in their name, and your donation will be matched up to $10,000 thanks to a generous donor.
Learn more about this remarkable organization in this month’s Brownieland guest blog by Second Helpings Atlanta Executive Director Andrea Jaron.
April promotes sustainability and volunteerism, both of which shine a light on two central parts of our mission at Second Helpings Atlanta. As the city’s only nonprofit dedicated to rescuing fresh, surplus food and delivering it to hunger relief agencies, our volunteers help us keep fresh food from going to waste.
It’s a sad fact that 30-40% of the food produced in America ends up in landfills. Couple that with escalating rates of food insecurity spurred by the pandemic, and we have a major disconnect.
The New York Times recently reported that one in 10 households lacks enough to eat. In Georgia, that number is closer to one in six, and in Metro Atlanta, it’s one in five for children.
When families must choose between paying the rent or buying groceries, we are failing as a society. There are direct correlations between food insecurity and overall health—both physical and mental.
Yet so much food goes to waste.
Second Helpings Atlanta rescues more than 250,000 pounds of surplus fresh, perishable food every month, with an aim to close the gap on food insecurity. Our deep knowledge of donation nuances and delivery logistics, along with our carefully cultivated relationships with agencies, uniquely positions us as the frontline food rescue logistics organization in Atlanta.
Every day, volunteer and staff drivers rescue food from more than 75 donors, including grocery stores, corporate kitchens, stadiums, and big-box retailers, and deliver it to more than 55 homeless shelters, food pantries, domestic violence shelters, and other nonprofits across the Atlanta metropolitan area. With efficiency and sustainability in mind, we’ve developed a 90-Minute Model designed to allow drivers to make local food rescues and deliveries in 90 minutes or less. Our team of dedicated volunteers is the heart of our organization. Together, we hope to create change by helping people think in new ways about food waste and its societal and environmental impact.
April is also National Volunteer Month. We can’t do our good work diverting fresh, surplus food from landfills without the tireless efforts of our volunteers to drive out hunger. Last year alone, Second Helpings Atlanta’s volunteers logged over 10,000 hours on our food rescue routes.
As a special thank you, one very generous donor has offered to match your donation in a volunteer’s honor dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000. Please consider helping us thank all our volunteers by donating to Second Helpings Atlanta.
And as we celebrate Earth Day, please join us for a series of “Zero Waste Cooking Classes” every Sunday at 5 p.m. throughout the month. Participation is free, and we welcome your donation. If you’re so inclined to donate, you’ll be entered to win some very exciting prizes.
There are so many ways to support Second Helpings Atlanta’s mission to drive out hunger. We welcome donations and volunteers. And, of course, we think Zero Waste Cooking Classes are a delicious way to start.