Year of Resiliency and Impact – When You Needed Us Most, We Delivered
At ACCA, we have entered a season of HOPE. It has been one year since ACCA temporarily suspended in-person programming due to COVID-19. As we reflect on the past year, we are so proud of ACCA’s impact on the community. It has been a testament to a resilient mindset and steadfast dedication and compassion for the community in which we live and work. Together, we have provided basic needs and reassurance to thousands of our community members. When you needed us most, we delivered:
• Over 325,000 meals served to more than 9,000 people since March 2020 – a 4000% increase over the previous year.
• ACCA staff and 186 volunteers are driving over 1,200 miles each week to deliver meals to homebound seniors and community members.
• 318 new volunteers have joined in our emergency relief efforts.
• Our Long-Term Care Ombudsman representatives have tirelessly advocated for and supported residents living in long-term facilities and their loved ones who have been separated since the beginning of the pandemic.
• Over 11,500 safety checks, buddy calls and driveway visits made by ACCA staff and volunteers.
We credit our year of resiliency to collaboration and innovation. ACCA’s existing Meals on Wheels infrastructure allowed us to significantly scale up our food distribution efforts to exponentially grow from serving 180 through our traditional Meals on Wheels program to serving those recipients and over 9,000 area residents of all ages through the Athens Eats Together program. We are grateful to lead such an impactful program. Of the over 9,000 enrollees,
• 70% of Athens Eats Together Enrollees reported that this was the first time they received food assistance.
• 52% of the meals provided to enrollees are delivered.
• 39% of enrollees are younger than age 18.
• 30% of enrollees are older than age 60.
• All average household incomes fall under 133% of the poverty level.
• Enrollees have expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the program:
“This program is a huge benefit to Athens residents struggling with grocery concerns. This is a basic human right and so many residents lack access to quality food products which has been amplified by the current pandemic. Thank you for your support, hard work and dedication to the residents of Athens Clarke County. We are so blessed to receive this support.”
“Thank you for helping the community. Our SNAP (benefits) only goes so far and we were able to shop the farmers market as well for the 1st time in a while because of the extra from the program. It really made my family feel almost normal again to have so many fresh food options and good meals.”
“I just thank you so much for helping with food for our family. If not for y’all we would probably starve.”
“It’s bad enough when you have to ask for help and feel judged, having someone that greeted you with a smile was a relief.
“This has been truly a blessing. It has taken the stress off us in wondering what we were going to do to have enough food. Thank you so much!”
I believe ACCA and its network of partners and supporters have been a silver lining to thousands of community members throughout this year. I am tremendously proud of what we have accomplished.
Our season of hope leads to the anticipation of welcoming seniors and our community back to ACCA’s campus very soon! The photo above showcases some of our staff who recently received vaccinations. With each vaccination, we are one step closer and together, we plan on resuming our full work and continuing our mission to help our community age and live well.
We thank you for your support throughout this journey!