Homegrown Help

On Wednesday, Second Harvest of South Georgia and AgGeorgia Farm Credit announced Homegrown Help, a new joint initiative to combat the effects of COVID-19 in the area. The Farm Credit cooperative is a long-time supporter of the food bank’s work, but Homegrown Help marks the first partnership between the two organizations. Click HERE to give today!

Disasters and emergency situations like the COVID-19 outbreak compound our existing food insecurity crisis. The pandemic and related closures have drastically increased the need for food assistance in South Georgia. Since March, Second Harvest has distributed double the amount of food it had in 2019 – an additional 2 million meals worth. The need is only anticipated to grow as unemployment benefits run out later this summer.

South Georgia’s agriculture community has likewise been hit incredibly hard. With schools and restaurants closed, our area growers have few market outlets. They have seen too much supply and not enough demand. Few processing options exist in the region to extend the shelf life of these valuable crops.

This is where Homegrown Help comes in – to benefit not just the families needing food but also our area farmers. Funds raised will go to purchase Georgia Grown produce; in turn, the food bank will provide these nutritious fruits and vegetables to families in need. AgGeorgia Farm Credit, as co-founder of this campaign, has committed $25,000 to this initiative as part of a larger $50,000 total donation to regional food banks in their service area. Second Harvest anticipates many local individuals and businesses will want to contribute to this fundraising campaign and has several large donors who have already expressed interested. Individuals can donate by texting “HOMEGROWN” to 619-870-1680, or by going to www.feedingsga.org.

“We really appreciate AgGeorgia and Second Harvest partnering together on this,” said Justin Corbett of Corbett Brothers Farms, long-time produce growers in Lake Park, Georgia. “For many years we have supported Second Harvest and understand the great benefit that they provide in our community. We are also proud to be a member of an organization like AgGeorgia Farm Credit that is willing to step in to help in times like these.”

For Second Harvest and AgGeorgia, the project was the perfect fit and opportunity to work together.

“We are thrilled to partner with Second Harvest on this campaign, and we invite other organizations and individuals to support this effort,” said AgGeorgia Farm Credit Board Chairman Dave Neff. “It is wonderful to be able to get local produce to families in need while simultaneously supporting Georgia farmers.”

“We are so excited about Homegrown Help because of the positive impact it will have not just on our neighbors in need but on the farmers who live, work, and worship right here in South Georgia,” added Eliza McCall, Second Harvest of South Georgia’s Chief Marketing Officer.

Call Center

SHSG needs volunteers to staff a special COVID-19 response project. Many metro areas have a 211 information line that citizens can call to get referrals for assistance. South Georgians don’t have access to that type of service, but Second Harvest is stepping up to help by establishing a temporary referral line.

We are transforming our lobby into a call center to field questions from folks in need in the communities we serve. Our volunteers will refer them to the appropriate group for help. Whether they need food, rental assistance, mental health services, etc., we will point them in the right direction.

This center will be open Monday – Thursday from 8 am – 4 pm until further notice. We are seeking 6-12 volunteers every week to help with this project. The ideal volunteers will have great communication skills, knowledge of the area, and be able to commit to at least one week of half or whole day shifts. Social workers, teachers, and recent college graduates are examples of some good fits for this project. Volunteers must be able to pass a basic medical screening. We will provide lunch each day.

For more information, call (229) 469-6925 or email PR@feedingsga.org.

COVID-19 Protocol

Second Harvest of South Georgia has put the following protocols in place in response to the novel Coronavirus outbreak as of March 23, 2020.

All employees, volunteers, and visitors are screened prior to entering the building. Individuals who are suspected of having COVID-19 or of having been directly exposed to the virus will immediately be removed from our campus and sent for COVID-19 screening.

Return to Work Criteria for Employees with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 (derived from the CDC Guidance for Healthcare Personnel)

Second Harvest staff members suspected of having COVID-19 or in direct contact with infected individuals will be sent for screening immediately.  If they do not meet criteria for testing, we will follow the CDC’s non-test-based strategy for returning to work.  Staff members will be excluded from work until:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery.  Recovery is defined as the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath); and
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If staff members were never tested for COVID-19 but have an alternate diagnosis (e.g. tested positive for strep, influenza, etc.), criteria for returning to work will be based on that diagnosis.

After returning to work, staff will:

  • Wear a facemask at all times while in the facility until all symptoms are resolved or until 14 days after illness onset, whichever is longer
  • Be restricted from contact with child feeding operations, partner agencies, volunteers, and immunocompromised staff until 14 days after illness onset
  • Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette in CDC’s interim infection control guidance (cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in waste receptacles)
  • Self-monitor for symptoms, and seek re-evaluation from medical professional if symptoms recur or worsen

If you have questions about our protocols pertaining to the novel coronavirus COVID-19, please contact us at 229-244-2678 x 1101.

COVID-19 Response

Our Second Harvest team is coordinating with communities across our service area to determine where we can best complement relief efforts, if any, that may be planned. We are partnering with area school systems including Valdosta City Schools, Berrien County Schools, Brooks County Schools, Clinch County Schools, Cook County Schools, and Early County Schools to help provide meals to children affected by school closures. Please click on the links or contact the school systems directly for more information.

We are planning mobile food distributions in the future, and we will release that information as it becomes available. If you need help in the meantime, you can utilize our Pantry Finder HERE. We recommend that you call prior to visiting just in case hours have changed.

If you want to help others, you can go HERE to make a donation. We need financial contributions like yours to help us offset the costs of responding to these extraordinary circumstances.

If you would like to volunteer, go HERE for more information.

Thanksgiving for Thousands 2019

IMG_9811 (Medium)This year’s Thanksgiving for Thousands will be bigger and better than ever!  In addition to our Valdosta event on November 26, we are adding a second Thanksgiving distribution in Thomasville on November 23.  Distribution details will be released in the coming weeks. 

Nearly 1 in 5 people in South Georgia struggle with hunger daily, and 1 in 3 area children may go to bed hungry tonight.  We are doing something about that, and you can help.

For $5, you can ensure that 1 family has food this Thanksgiving.  You have the opportunity not just feed bodies but to feed the hope that tomorrow will be better than today.  Each box contains 20 pounds of food and will, with very little supplementation feed a family of 4 for approximately a week.  

These sponsorships can come from individuals, families, churches, or even businesses.  Sponsorships received before Friday, November 16, can include a message of your choice for the box recipient.  The messages (1 per box sponsored) can be “in memory of”,  “in honor of”, “compliments of”, etc.  Even simple messages of hope like “We hope this box brightens your Thanksgiving” may bless those who receive it.

Please help our neighbors in need by sponsoring a box today!

To sponsor a box, click here for instructions on how to complete your donation by mail or in person.

You may also complete your sponsorship online by clicking here. You’ll be redirected to our Donations page.  Simply click the DONATE button at the bottom and make sure you note TGBOX in the Comments field.

You can also get involved by donating your time!  To volunteer, click HERE to register. Volunteers MUST register in advance.

Help. Box. Hope.

On February 12, Second Harvest of South Georgia hosted a disaster box pack in the Rotunda of the State Capitol. The ‘Help. Box. Hope.’ event was the first of its kind on Capitol Hill. The Georgia General Assembly generously appropriated $700,000 to SHSG to help offset our tremendous costs for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

We wanted to let the legislators experience firsthand where their investment goes, but we know the demands on their time are great. So, we took the show on the road! We loaded a straight truck with non-perishable food and boxes, and we headed north. We built 200 disaster pantry boxes like storm victims receive. We had more than 50 legislators and elected officials roll up their sleeves and help.?

We are grateful for their support and look forward to continuing to serve our neighbors in need here in Southwest Georgians.?

Thanksgiving for Thousands 2018

IMG_9811 (Medium)Nearly 1 in 4 people in South Georgia struggle with hunger daily, and 1 in 3 area children may go to bed hungry tonight.  We are doing something about that, and you can help.

For $5, you can ensure that 1 family has food this Thanksgiving.  You have the opportunity not just feed bodies but to feed the hope that tomorrow will be better than today.  Each box contains 20 pounds of food and will, with very little supplementation feed a family of 4 for approximately a week.  Boxes will be distributed at Valdosta High School beginning at 8 am and continuing while supplies last.

These sponsorships can come from individuals, families, churches, or even businesses.  Sponsorships received before Friday, November 16, can include a message of your choice for the box recipient.  The messages (1 per box sponsored) can be “in memory of”,  “in honor of”, “compliments of”, etc.  Even simple messages of hope like “We hope this box brightens your Thanksgiving” may bless those who receive it.

Please help our neighbors in need by sponsoring a box today!

To sponsor a box, click here for instructions on how to complete your donation by mail or in person.

You may also complete your sponsorship online by clicking here. You’ll be redirected to our Donations page.  Simply click the DONATE button at the bottom and make sure you note TGBOX in the Comments field.

Volunteer opportunities for this event will be available.  Please contact volunteer@feedingsga.org or call (229) 244-2678 to inquire.

 

Volunteers Needed!

Second Harvest needs your help! Our disaster relief efforts have had all almost our entire team busy for two weeks now. Helping our neighbors affected by Hurricane Michael has been our primary focus during that time. But hunger in South Georgia doesn’t take a break for Mother Nature. We need volunteers to pack food boxes in our Valdosta headquarters that we will then distribute for disaster relief, senior hunger, and Thanksgiving.

Click HERE to register.

Georgia Crafted Tees to Benefit SHSG Disaster Work

From Georgia Crafted:

Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc across much of Southwest Georgia, but folks from around the state have come together to help residents clean up and rebuild. Our “Georgia Strong” and “We are Georgia” t-shirts were designed with Southwest Georgia residents in mind. We must always remind ourselves that we are Georgia Strong, and we are stronger when we come together as a state to help our neighbors. Your #GeorgiaCrafted Peaches want to do EVERYTHING we can to help continued efforts to rebuild #SWGA and help farmers who have lost so much during this terrible storm. With that said, 50% of the proceeds from these t-shirts will be donated to Second Harvest of South Georgia, Inc. for continued disaster relief efforts, and we are providing FREE SHIPPING on all preorders of these shirts. Let’s always remember that we are strong, we are ready to rebuild, and most importantly, we are #Georgia!

USE CODE HURRICANEMICHAEL AT CHECKOUT FOR FREE SHIPPING. SHIRTS WILL SHIP MID-NOVEMBER.

Preorder the “Georgia Strong” shirt here: https://georgiacrafted.com/collections/build-a-gift-box/products/georgia-strong-t-shirt

Preorder the “We Are Georgia” t-shirt here: https://georgiacrafted.com/collections/build-a-gift-box/products/we-are-georgia-t-shirt-fundraiser-for-hurricane-michael-relief