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Grant Boosts Efficiency of Mobile Food Ministry SUBMITTED BY FOREVER FED

The Atlanta Community Food Bank awarded a Phase Four Capacity Building Grant to Forever Fed in December 2014. Forever Fed, a mobile ministry that distributes food, books and used clothing to the underserved in Cherokee County, has purchased 22 shelving units on wheels, utility carts, new ovens, a stand mixer, and several kitchen upgrades to existing food preparation equipment. Improvements will help Forever Fed serve more Each feeding event requires the help of many volunteers shown above families at risk of food and below. insecurity. “Cherokee County is blessed with several fantastic food pantries working tirelessly to alleviate hunger in our community. Even with their efforts, Cherokee County still has families lacking access to food resources,” said Carrie Vandenhouten, director of Forever Fed’s Cans4Kids/ Food4U program. “Some lack transportation, some are disabled and cannot drive, others work low-paying jobs with unpredictable hours and simply can’t visit food pantries when the pantries are open.” A dedicated group of volunteers working with the Food4U program delivers more than 200 boxes of food to the homes of underserved families each month. The

addition of new mobile storage equipment has streamlined the packing and transporting of boxes. “Packing boxes of food used to take a lot of muscle and time. The new equipment has made everything so much easier,” said volunteer Shannon Luina. Forever Fed also added several new pieces of equipment to the commercial kitchen at Hillside United Methodist Church, which allows the ministry to use the kitchen as a base of operations. “The kitchen, while well equipped, was in need of several upgrades to help increase our production of healthy prepared meals,” said Susan Vanderheyden, executive director of Forever Fed. “We were able to add a new set of ovens and several small pieces of equipment to make meal preps easier and faster. It’s been so fun witnessing the excitement of our volunteers over a few new kitchen tools.” Forever Fed provides prepared meals to several organizations mentoring at-risk children, and hosts monthly block party events in struggling neighborhoods where they distribute food, gently used clothing and prepared meals. In 2014, Forever Fed served more than 25,000 meals and distributed more than 53,000 pounds of groceries. “With all of our super new equipment, we can’t wait to see what God will do through Forever Fed this year,” said Vanderheyden. For more info on Forever Fed, visit www.foreverfed.org.

SIXES LIVING | April 2015