Those dealing with food insecurity will soon have some fresh produce from local farms thanks to the efforts of Forsyth County’s Rotary Clubs.
More than 20 volunteers from all five of the county’s Rotary Clubs and the Rotary Club of Dawson County met at the Ingles parking lot on Canton Highway on Thursday to load pallets of fresh food into vehicles to take to those who need them in the community.
“We were able to get these truckloads of food that would normally be sent to restaurants, but restaurants aren’t receiving them, so there’s excess capacity,” said Ted Richardson with Rotary Club of South Forsyth County. “So, we arranged for, I think, 20 or 22 pallets of food, 1,680 20-pound boxes. It’s estimated that’ll feed 10,000 meals with fresh produce, good nutritious food that’s not canned or starches.”
The boxes contained wide varieties of fresh produce, including apples, grapes, oranges, onions, cucumbers, potatoes and more from a farmer's market by Royal Food Service, Inc. in Atlanta.
“They arranged for the trucking and shipping and sent it up here to us,” Richardson said. “Our Partner, Steve Daniels with Meals By Grace, was very instrumental in handling the distribution of the food. It’s more than they could use in the short time-life of the food, so he arranged for all the surrounding food banks to come in and participate.”
Daniels said the food would be going to “as many places as we can” and thanked the volunteers for their time.
“This is great,” he said. “They’re making such quick work of what could be a really big job.”
He said most of the food, except things like citrus fruits, were grown in Georgia.
“The ability to keep produce as part of [the client’s] diets, it’s so powerful,” he said. “It will help their health overall.”
The program is part of Rotary International’s 10 Million Meal Challenge.