The Five Loaves & Two Fish Food Pantry began in the late 1980’s as several smaller church-operated food pantries in the Griffin area merged their operations. Within a short period of time, more than twenty-five churches across the community were supporting the pantry. (This organization grew into All Faiths Christian Ministries, which also oversees the
Hope Health Clinic in Griffin.)
During the 1990’s, the pantry grew, gaining the support of many local merchants, farmers, and individuals who donate surpluses whenever possible. Several local grocers began to donate bread and produce to help the Pantry serve the needy. Home gardeners brought surplus fruit and vegetables from their gardens. People in the community began to make it a regular practice to donate to the pantry.
From 1997 to 1999, the food pantry took part in a United States Department of Agriculture effort, the Griffin Food Security Project (GFSP), to address the root causes of hunger in the community. One part of the GFSP was the implementation of a computer database to track information about the pantry’s distributions and statistical information on clients.
The system has been upgraded once since its installation in 1997. The data used in this report was generated using this system.
FINANCES of the Food Pantry
Because the Five Loaves & Two Fish Food Pantry is staffed primarily by volunteers, personnel costs are very low.
The largest budget item is, of course, food.
During 2002, the Pantry benefited from several can drives conducted in the community which kept down the cost of purchasing food. Two major drives were the annual Boy Scouts’ “Scouting For Food” Drive and the “Together We Can” Drive organized by local photographer Rick Blackshear.
Local churches have strongly supported the Pantry, bringing in just under $ 25,000 last year.
The Griffin-Spalding Hospital Authority continued to support the Pantry, allocating twenty-one thousand dollars in 2002.
Near the end of the year, a fundraising campaign, “Feed Griffin’s Hungry” was mounted. That campaign paid off, raising a total of nearly $ 8500.
The recent economic downturn has been particularly hard on the poor of our community. Grants were sought to be used to assist with utilities, medications, and housing. These grants came from outside the community and were used to underwrite the Pantry’s emergency assistance efforts.
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