Last week, leaders in Fulton County, of organizations and the community came together at the Fulton County Oak Hill Child, Adolescent and Family Center to launch Hello Fresh’s partnership with Atlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond. 

Bond spoke on the significance of the expansion of Hello Fresh’s Meals with Meaning program, which donates surplus food to communities in need. With his new partnership, he hopes to give people who don’t have enough to eat access to healthy food.

Chairman of Fulton County Board of Commissioners Robb Pitts was also in attendance and discussed how food deserts and food insecurity are issues that have only grown in the wake of the ongoing global pandemic. 

“People and families [are] at risk of going without food and becoming undernourished or even worse, starving, in Atlanta, Georgia (and) in Fulton County,” Pitts said. “We at Fulton County, we’re stepping back up to the plate to take these meals into the community and let people know that we do care. We care about them and we won’t let them fend for themselves.”

Second Helpings Atlanta and Pratt Industries contributed in completing the project to tackle food insecurity in Fulton County. The meal kits provided by Hello Fresh will be available in different locations around the county each week.

Senior Vice President of Operations, Ana Garica, explained how Hello Fresh created the Meals with Meaning program in response to the onset of COVID-19 in hopes of families in need having one less thing to worry about. The program is operating in several major cities across the country and has donated over a million meals.

“We’re really all about bringing innovation to the food industry,” Garica said. “With our customers, we do that by bringing fresh, prepared ingredients to their home and removing the hassle of having to go grocery shopping or meal planning. We also really care about making a difference in food insecurity in the communities that we operate in.”

Hello Fresh can ship out their surplus food with the aid of Second Helpings Atlanta. The organization rescues the extra food, packages the kits and distributes them around Fulton County.

The donated meal kits provided by Hello Fresh and put together by Second Helpings Atlanta are packaged with Pratt Industry’s recycled boxes. 

Pratt Industries is America’s fifth-largest corrugated packaging company,” Richard Dowdy, Pratt Industries’ Vice President of government relations said. “We’re 100% recycled. So, what that means is that we collect the city of Atlanta’s curbside waste material every single day and we take that to our material recovery facility in Conyers where we turn it into 100% recycled paper, and then into 100% boxes for the likes of Hello Fresh, Amazon, Procter and Gamble, Home Depot, and so on.”

Jaron has witnessed an increase in need in Atlanta since the spread of COVID-19.

“Without partnerships like this one, we cannot do the hard work to combat food insecurity in Atlanta,” Andrea Jaron, Executive Director of Second Helpings Atlanta, said. “We’re Second Helpings Atlanta, the city’s only nonprofit food rescue organization, dedicated to reducing hunger and food waste in the metro Atlanta area by reducing surplus food and distributing it to those in need. We know that there are enough resources for all of us, all of us to eat well.”

 

 

Hello Fresh and Julian Bond handed out meals last week. (Photo Credit: Bria Suggs)