“How’s lunch?” Kathy Malcolm Hall loves to wander among the diners enjoying a bountiful meal at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Dunwoody, Georgia. The hot, sit-down lunch, served to about 250 people every Wednesday, is an initiative of Malachi’s Storehouse, an emergency food pantry housed at the church that provides food and clothing to nearly 40,000 clients per year. Hall is Executive Co-Director of the agency, which has been serving the community for 26 years.
Every week, Malachi’s Storehouse volunteers, most of them former or current clients, transform thousands of pounds of fresh food provided by Second Helpings Atlanta (SHA) into thousands of healthy and bountiful meals. Says Hall, “We would not be who we are without Second Helpings Atlanta. It’s been transformative because of the quality and quantity we are able to serve.” The food — picture short ribs, seafood and fresh produce — offers clients a significant nutritional boost. “It also gives us the opportunity to spoil people who don’t typically have a lot of choices,” Hall adds.
Since 2010, SHA Volunteers have delivered surplus food donated by Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Cox Enterprises and others to Malachi’s Storehouse. In 2017, SHA will provide Malachi’s with about 200,000 pounds, making the pantry SHA’s second largest recipient. After lunch, guests visit the clothing closet, then head to the vast food pantry where they shop for bags of fresh food and staples at no cost. The focus is on providing every guest with gracious service and respect.
“Our model is to connect with the people we serve,” says Hall. “We honor the dignity of every human being and our encounter with each person reflects our core values of kindness and openness. Not only do they get a great sit-down meal, they leave feeling like someone cares,” says Hall.
The partnership with Malachi’s is productive and satisfying for Second Helpings Atlanta. Notes Executive Director Joe Labriola, “Fourteen times a week, SHA Volunteers deliver fresh, nutritious food to Malachi’s Storehouse. We’re pleased to support their mission as they make a real difference in the community.”
This week, as thousands of Atlanta’s hungry sit down to community-provided Thanksgiving meals at locations around the city, Malachi’s Storehouse will be dark. “Our volunteers work tirelessly all year, but we close at Thanksgiving and Christmas to give them the time off, while other agencies step in to meet the need,” Hall adds.
Malachi’s Storehouse is currently in the running for a $5,000 charity give-away sponsored by the online lifestyle guide, StyleBlueprint. Hall invites anyone who wishes to cast a vote in favor of Malachi’s to go here before November 27.
Meanwhile, learn how you can join the effort to bring fresh, nutritious food to communities in need by driving or donating. Contact SHA Executive Director Joe Labriola at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.