The Athens-based Food Bank of Northeast Georgia is getting a $465,000 donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Director Chuck Toney says the food bank will use the funds to meet demand caused by the outbreak of COVID 19.
"We are deeply grateful to Mr. Bezos for this extraordinary gift," says Toney. "At a time when our communities are under intense economic pressure and many people are seeking economic assistance for the first time through our network of partner agencies, this gift will help us meet that need efficiently and effectively."
Toney says the Food Bank will use the funds to buy additional food, make improvements to its warehouse facilities, and upgrade its fleet of vehicles.
The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia was founded in 1992 in an effort to end hunger in fourteen counties. The first home was on Prince Avenue in the building that is now The Grit. In that first year, the Food Bank distributed approximately 350,000 pounds of food to 36 partner agencies.
In 1997, the organization relocated to its permanent home on Newton Bridge Road, which has since been expanded to continue meeting the needs of the community. In 2016, the Food Bank added a second location in Rabun County. This distribution center enables the organization to better serve the counties of Georgia’s mountain region. This expansion included a state of the art facility complete with a teaching kitchen, commercial kitchen, and frozen food processing line.
With more than 25 years of experience serving the community, the Food Bank now distributes more than 11 million pounds of food to a fourteen county service area through more than 225 partner organizations every year.