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Forsyth County children in need offered free meals this summer
Summer meals
Employees of The Cleaning Authority of Cumming stand with bags of food they collected to donate to food banks. - photo by Isabel Hughes

Summer is often thought of as a carefree time for children who no longer have to worry about homework and other school requirements.

For some Forsyth County kids and their parents, however, summer means added uncertainty as to where their next meal will come from.

To help alleviate this stress, companies and schools are teaming up with a food bank to provide children with summer meals.

Forsyth will have five locations set up for kids to receive meals:

Cumming Elementary School

520 Dahlonega Street

Monday-Friday, 11:15 a.m.-noon

June 5-July 9

No meal service on July 4.

Forsyth County school bus

In the parking lot of the Saxony Place Apartments, 101-103 14th Street

Monday-Friday, 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

June 5-July 28

No meal service July 4.

Forsyth County school bus

Bald Ridge, 105 Ridgeview Circle

Monday-Friday, 12:30-1:00 p.m.

June 5-July 28

Midway Elementary School

4805 Atlanta Highway

Monday-Friday, 8-9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

June 5-July 19

No meal service July 3-7.

Glenwood Place

1545 Atlanta Highway

Monday-Friday from 11-11:30 a.m.

June 5-July 28

No meal service on July 4.

“When we learned that one in five living in our state doesn’t know where that next meal is coming from and a lot of those are children, it hit us hard,” said Bill Feder, owner of The Cleaning Authority of Cumming. “We have about 350 local customers, and there’s always been a want for us to be community centric, so two times a year, we collect food from the homes we clean.

“We’ll go in and the customer will have non-perishable goods in a bag on their counter and we collect that and take to [The Georgia Mountain] Food Bank in Gainesville.”

The Cleaning Authority, a national company, had more than 150 locations, including Feder’s Cumming location, participate in the initiative last year, which collected more than 338,000 pounds of food and nearly 27,000 bags of goods.

Feder said of those numbers, his location collected about 200 bags of non-perishables and about 1,500 pounds of food, something he said he was proud of.

Summer meals 2
Bill Feder, owner of The Cleaning Authority of Cumming - photo by Isabel Hughes

“You can’t help but feel pretty good about it, and I think our customers feel the same,” he said. “I think they really want to help out but don’t always know how to and this makes a pretty significant contribution.

“[Food insecurity] is an ongoing and recurring need and we want to make an effort to not be overly intrusive to our customers but also give them the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution.”

This is the second year the Cumming location is participating in the drive.

“Workers have their own personal life challenges and we want to be more than just a house-cleaning service in our community and we want to make a difference,” Feder said, “and I think it’s neat how a relatively simple idea has been able to make such an impact.

“It’s really cool to watch how it unfolds and how many people it affects; not just the recipients but customers who can make a difference, all with such a simple idea.”