Atlanta International Corps partners in food distribution to its neighbors
By: Brad Rowland
With a crucial relationship already established as a backdrop, the Atlanta International Corps recently stood in the gap alongside service partners to impact hundreds of lives in the community. On Thursday, May 7, a combination of staff, officers and volunteers partnered with Plaza Fiesta, a local retail center, as well as Telemundo and the Atlanta Food Bank in putting together a substantial food giveaway to meet growing need.
“We’ve been working on a relationship with Plaza Fiesta over the last several months,” said Major Angela Repass, corps officer. “There is a huge population that moves through the center, and we think it is a significant opportunity for ministry, dating back well before COVID-19.”
Plaza Fiesta hosted a food giveaway during the previous week, and after gaining knowledge of that initiative, Major Repass reached out to offer assistance on the follow-up. Originally, The Salvation Army was set to bring a canteen to serve hot food to those gathering, but there was a significant need for volunteers to aid in allowing the giveaway to take place.
“I am a firm believer that we can accomplish more when we partner together with others,” Major Repass said. “Ultimately, our goal was just to serve the community at the point of need.”
With the primary purpose of the event to hand out the pre-packed food, The Salvation Army provided assistance while also making contact with each household. Copies of Cultura de alabanza, a Spanish-language album produced through The Salvation Army’s Soundcast network of audio programs, were disseminated as an outreach tool. In addition, families received a flyer with pertinent information, including details on Atlanta International’s schedule of worship services, as well as information on emergency financial assistance and the corps food pantry.
“I believe it is important for us as The Salvation Army to look for opportunities to serve our community, regardless of whether or not it is our idea or our initiative,” said Major Repass. “We’re not called to be in the spotlight, but rather to serve and to love. In this case, we were simply given the opportunity to be a part of an event and to touch the lives of people, helping them where they are. We need to keep searching for those opportunities to serve and love, and we plan to do that.”