***This blog post is part of a weekly series titled #SignalBoostSunday. This series will highlight organizations and social causes that are of importance and provide assistance to the Greater Atlanta area. ***
In the days after Anthony Bourdain’s death, there were several things about him that struck me about the many remembrances that people shared about him.
In all of the stories shared, there were running themes about his compassion, his willingness to help and stand up for others and his intense passion for food and truly getting to know the people who made that food.
I don’t have any personal stories about Bourdain to share with you. But I do think the best way to honor someone who gave so much of himself to support others and to give others a voice is to continue their work of supporting others. For me, this week, that means shining a light on local organizations that work toward fighting food insecurity and food waste and assisting local restaurant workers in crisis.
And so, this week, on #SignalBoostSunday, we’ll be looking at three food-related Atlanta non-profit organizations that embody Bourdain’s spirit of compassion and generosity.
Fight2Feed is a fairly new organization and they only have two chapters but they’re seeking to expand to to other communities as the crux of their mission is to fight hunger and food waste on the local level.
The way it works is they collect unused food from restaurants and donations from food distributors and then have their own chefs and volunteers cook and package the food into meals that can be given to members of the community in need.
Meals are usually served during scheduled lunch and dinner service events, but sometimes Fight2Feed also arranges for some of its volunteers to go on “street missions” in which they give meals out to those on the street either during service event hours or afterwards.
The next Fight2Feed Atlanta lunch service event is slated for Saturday, July 14.
The Giving Kitchen is unique on this list because they work to assist a very specific demographic: local restaurant workers in crisis.
Via a number of initiatives and grants, The Giving Kitchen is able to provide financial assistance to restaurant workers dealing with issues like illness, injury or the aftermath of a natural disaster.
There are two kinds of crisis grants The Giving Kitchen offers: Direct and Matching. Direct grants are given based on financial need and based on qualifying criteria as determined by The Giving Kitchen from applications submitted. Matching grants are grants whose amounts are matched by donations from the grantee’s restaurant, up to $2,500. Matching grants can be used for less essential (as opposed to an acute crisis) expenses such as transportation needs.
The Giving Kitchen also has an initiative known as SafetyNet, which connects restaurant workers to necessary social services such as transportation, mental health and child care services.
In addition to supporting restaurant workers of the Metro Atlanta area, The Giving Kitchen also serves those in Athens, Columbus and Rome.
Open Hand Atlanta is an organization that works to provide home-delivered healthy and nutritious meals to low-income individuals dealing with chronic illnesses. They also provide nutrition education programs.
Their main initiative is known as Food Is Medicine. The home-delivered meals are designed by Registered Dietitians. The meals are “medically-tailored” to help manage or prevent different chronic illnesses. There are options such as Mechanical Soft (for those with digestive/mouth conditions) and Renal-Dialysis (for those with kidney issues).
And for those who are able to prepare their own meals but do not have adequate access to healthy food to make them, Open Hand Atlanta also offers the Market Baskets program. This program delivers bags of healthy food on a weekly basis and participants are also given recipes and nutrition tips on a monthly basis.