‘Unlike anything we’ve seen’: Food bank serves 30,000 meals
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – If you traveled near Macon Coliseum Thursday morning, you may have noticed traffic at a standstill. That’s because Middle Georgia Community Food Bank gave out more than 30,000 meals to help families during the pandemic.
“There’s a massive need for food that we’ve never seen at Middle Georgia Community Food Bank,” said Jeff Battcher, a Food Bank board member.
Some waited in cars for hours, looking for relief during this pandemic.
“I’ve been here since 9:30,” Tiffany Hugley said. “A lot of my family are laid off.”
Battcher says at all 24 counties the organization serves, they’ve seen three times the requests for food since COVID-19 impacted Middle Georgia.
“We’ve had so many people laid off,” he said. “The unemployment rate has sky rocketed. This is the first time many people have ever utilized a service like the food bank. I tell people it’s okay. We’re here to help.”
Families took home a box of meat, produce, and staples — enough to feed a family of four for a week.
“It’s not just for me and my husband, we help other people, too,” Brenda Wallace said. “We are low income. I’m on disability. He’s recently retired. We’re already stretched. It’s a big help.”
Battcher says the food bank has been preparing for the high demand for weeks.
“How much longer we can do this? I don’t know, but we’re going to do everything we can,” he said.
Wallace says no matter what, the help is a huge blessing.
“I hope this isn’t the last time we see this,” Wallace said. “It’s such a big help especially for seniors and children. We really need it.”
Battcher says the food bank usually does 10-12 mobile food pantries a week. However, since there is such a high demand, they are now doing 18 mobile food pantries weekly.