Second Helpings Atlanta has been serving the mission of reducing hunger and food waste in Atlanta for over 15 years. The organization serves as a food rescue network, picking up unused surplus food from area businesses and delivering it to partner agencies with feeding programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens and day programs, many of which serve children. In 2019, Second Helping Atlanta’s network, consisting of nearly 400 volunteers, facilitated the delivery of 1.7 million pounds of food – roughly 1.4 million meals to those in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Second Helpings Atlanta like many organizations had to quickly pivot its operations to serve the suddenly changing needs of the community it serves. In March, due to the rapid shutdown of area businesses and organizations, including stadiums, corporate kitchens, and restaurants, a new need arose. Executive Director Andrea Jaron states, “Second Helpings Atlanta received a flurry of calls requesting immediate pickup of food surpluses that would have otherwise gone to waste.” Second Helpings immediately facilitated the delivery of tens of thousands of pounds of food from these facilities to its partners.
As businesses continued to navigate this new and constantly changing environment, many corporate kitchens and restaurants, in a desire to both keep their underutilized kitchens open and to serve those in need, used their facilities to prepare meals. Second Helpings Atlanta made sure those meals were delivered to its partner organizations with feeding programs.
Due to the pandemic, Second Helpings Atlanta has fostered new relationships and partnerships with organizations, restaurants, and other food service businesses. Most notable is the Atlanta Community Kitchen Project which is a collaboration between the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Second Helpings Atlanta, and the Atlanta Rotary Club. This collaboration has a goal of providing 500,000 meals before the end of summer 2020. In addition, through the Atlanta Community Kitchen Project, Second Helpings Atlanta has expanded its partner agencies from 40 to 55, resulting in an increased impact of 50%.
Second Helpings Atlanta is a new client of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. In this short time, it has participated in the Nonprofit Legal Check Up and has been able to benefit from legal advice and guidance from several volunteer attorneys including Nick DuPuis and Arthur Gambill of McGuireWoods, Clark Calhoun of Alston & Bird, Richard Kruse of AT&T, Jill Wasserman of Boehringer Ingelheim, Ethan Picone of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., and Angela Robert of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.