ATLANTA, GA (December 9, 2021) – While the number of people in the United States described as “food insecure” has risen dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, hopes its annual Can-A-Thon will make a difference.
Major Bob Parker, Southern Territory Area Commander for Metro Atlanta, said more than 800,000 people were desperately in need of food supplies in Atlanta and North Georgia.
“Food insecurity has been with us for a long time [but] it’s certainly increased during the time of the pandemic,” he said. “What we’ve found is families and individuals have been faced for the first time with some really tough decisions – to put food on the table, to pay rent or utility payments or, for seniors, to buy medicine.”
He said the Army’s 39th annual Can-A-Thon was launched on 3 December at three locations around the city with the aim of stocking the 13 food pantries it runs in the metropolitan area. It is run in partnership with online television channel 11Alive and Publix supermarkets. The Army had hoped the public would donate around 200,000 cans of non-perishable food, but the figure was more than 297,000 at the end of the day.
Bob said the Army had served more meals across the US to struggling families and individuals in the first six months of this year than it served in 12 months last year. “In Atlanta in the first six months of this year, we served over 156,000 meals and [delivered] about 16,000 food boxes to families.”