Food4Life, a COVID-19 crisis response project, is marking a year since it swung into action as the pandemic outbreak descended on Atlanta.
According to co-founder Marlon Kautz, the nonprofit was already active in food and housing support work through Atlanta Survival Project. “We watched as COVID-19 began to slowly spread around the world,” he said. “We were tuned in to how the emerging pandemic was going to impact access to food.”
Food4Life’s usual distribution method was to set up on street corners in neighborhoods where food was most in need to give out fresh produce and other foodstuffs. The organization decided even before the pandemic started closing schools and businesses that it would deliver boxes of groceries to doorsteps, but it would need to seriously ramp up its volunteer roster.
A signup form for volunteers went up online and in 48 hours, more than 100 volunteers had signed up to deliver food. On another signup, more than 100 people requested food.
Food4Life now has 1,700 volunteers who have made more than 11,000 deliveries of grocery boxes in the past year.
Kautz said donations from supermarkets, bulk food distributors, manufacturers, and farmers have made the food distribution possible. He said the doorstep delivery model will continue beyond the pandemic and so will empowering volunteers who have their own ideas about getting food to those in need.
“We tell volunteers if they have an idea, we’ll help support facilitate it,” Kautz said.
For more information, visit atlsurvival.org.