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Food pantry ready for the holidays
by Nneka Okona
December 19, 2012 09:43 AM | 1218 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye <br>
Nola Love, CEO of Helping in His Name, takes a recent donation into the warehouse to be sorted.
Staff / Katherine Frye
Nola Love, CEO of Helping in His Name, takes a recent donation into the warehouse to be sorted.
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Roughly 20 years ago, Helping in His Name Ministries, a food pantry that acts as a resource for families shouldered with difficult circumstances was born.

The economic downturn has impacted the nonprofit organization — with the combination of increased need from residents and the dwindling amount of donations and resources.

Most recently, CEO Nola Love said the organization has had to turn away families that they could not help due to an almost bare pantry.

Helping in His Name routinely purchases food for 16 cents per pound from the Atlanta Community Food Bank, but had issues doing so during this particular time frame.

“A couple months ago, we had a problem getting food because [Atlanta Community Food Bank] was going through some transition,” she said. “Our shelves were bare because we could not buy much food. It wasn’t available.”

During that time, Love had to turn away 25 families who were receiving an inadequate amount of food stamps.

This was substantial for an organization that typically caters to anywhere from 20 to 25 families per day and 1,200 per month.

But through the generosity of nearby schools, churches and businesses, the pantry is back in full swing and ready to make the holiday season a time where families do not have to stress about putting food on the table.

“We try to make sure that everyone has a turkey and we are able to do that through the generosity of the community,” Love said.

Food is provided for families who are struggling with the ramifications of unemployment, underemployment, single parenthood, a disability or senior citizens living on limited incomes.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week, the food pantry opens its doors from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

In order to execute those shifts, 20 to 25 volunteers are needed.

Love and her staff of four other people assist, as well.

In her past four years with the organization, Love has been able to see what a great impact the food pantry makes.

That alone, she said, is her motivation to keep going when she is met with challenges daily.

“It’s been a real journey and a real challenge,” she said. “I’ve seen lives change. I’ve seen a lot of people walk out with hope. I wanted to spend the rest of my life mending hearts. That’s my motivation — to be a blessing and encourage people to find a better way.”

Helping in His Name Ministries is at 85 Bellamy Place in Stockbridge.

Information: (678) 565-6135 or www.helpinginhisname.org.

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