June 22, 2024 11:16 pm
Close this search box.

Local News

GA Food Banks Prep for Increased Need One Year After Pandemic SNAP Ends

Credit: iStock

Shanteya Hudson

Georgia’s food banks are taking action to address the growing demand for their services ahead of summer break.

Frank Sheppard, Feeding the Valley Food Bank’s President and CEO, said many families throughout their 18-county service area have yet to recover from financial hardships caused by the pandemic and inflation. He added families are still in need of assistance one year after the pandemic food benefits have ended. As schools close for the summer, the food bank is proactively preparing to support families.

“We projected on average that 2,000 meals a day in the school year will become about 12,000 meals a day during summer,” he explained. “So there are a lot of kids that we are going to see two and three times a day. So, it’s a lot more kids from about 2,000 to 5,000.”

Sheppard added Feeding the Valley Food Bank will increase the number of locations it serves to approximately 43 sites and expand its current Kids Café program to provide multiple meals to children for ten weeks.

Increased need means that many food banks need additional labor, and it is an area that has also failed to rebound since the pandemic, he said.

“Some groups are still reluctant to volunteer at the level they were pre-pandemic. We definitely continue to need volunteers,” Sheppard said. “We’re not back to the level we were pre-pandemic and continue to need more volunteer assistance.”

The Feeding America network reports that approximately 1 in 8 Georgian children faces food insecurity. Nearly 50% of households receiving SNAP benefits have children.

This story was written by Shanteya Hudson, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.

Georgia Supreme Court justices appear skeptical of Athens DA’s claim of open records exemption

In an upcoming ruling, Georgia’s Supreme Court will weigh in on a claim brought by Athens-Clarke District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez, arguing that top prosecutors are exempt from the state’s open records laws. The case involves assertions that the trial court overlooked a constitutional provision in denying Gonzalez’s motion to dismiss an open records complaint, mirroring similar immunity arguments made by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a separate case related to the 2020 presidential election interference.

Georgia public colleges to expand admissions testing requirements for fall 2026

Georgia colleges are reverting to requiring standardized test scores for all new applicants, signaling a shift from pandemic-era policies. Beginning in fall 2026, institutions including Augusta University, The University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech will mandate SAT or ACT scores, a decision unanimously approved by the Georgia Board of Regents.

Water-hogging data centers flagged in latest ‘Dirty Dozen’ environmental watchdog report

In its annual report released on Thursday, the Georgia Water Coalition spotlighted the detrimental effects of record economic growth on the state’s waterways, particularly in the coastal region, where a surge in state-of-the-art data centers poses a significant threat to Georgia’s rivers. The report urges urgent action from public officials and residents to advocate for policies that safeguard natural resources crucial for clean drinking water and outdoor recreation, emphasizing the need for coordinated water planning to address mounting environmental pressures.