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November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

As a past member of the Board for GACM, I have seen first hand how this Ministry has served and continues to serve each and every day. The Staff of GACM work tirelessly each and every day to ensure the co-ops provide food to those in need within the community. I am still in touch with the Staff at GACM and it humbles me each and every day to know how effective the cooperative programs and the dedication of the Staff are to provide food to those in the community that would otherwise go without food. To be a servant is to lead and influence others through lives given in ministry for the blessing of others and their needs, this is indeed how the Ministry of GACM provides to those in need.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally observed how great this Ministry is to the people served by the food Co-ops.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There would be no changes required. However, knowing how successful the co-ops are, the creation of more would indeed benefit those families in need of assistance.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

I'm proud to have been on an initial Advisory Board that helped the Georgia Avenue Church to launch the co-op 19 years ago. Since then I've served on the Board (including as Chair), invited other caring community members with needed skills to support the program as volunteers, consultants, funders, and board members. Given the overwhelming success of the project in utilizing the well-researched principles of "Asset Based Community Develoopment" to REALLY transfor the lives of its members/clients....this is a way of serving food insecure neighbors that NEEDS to be replicated all over town and around the country.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing members of the Co-op become passionate and compassion servants themselves - developing their own voices and abilities to become meeting facilitators, board members, managers of finances, neighborhood activists, trainers and coaches for others, better parents.... the list goes on

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Eventually change the name of the organization to reflect better the broader scope of their outreach.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

I had the unique opportunity to observe Georgia Avenue Community Ministry operate its Food Co-op. What makes it unique is the Co-op members must be hands-on, all-in. If they do not participate, if they do not give their very best to their assignments, then their benefits are reduced. The Food Co-op is NOT a "hand out"; it IS a "hand up". I observed because I believe this is the best model to help those who are willing to help themselves.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

learning how it works and why it works.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not make any changes in operations. I would encourage the Georgia Avenue Community Ministry-Food Co-op to endeavor to reproduce itself in the surrounding communities of metropolitan Atlanta.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

Georgia Avenue Community Ministry is unique in the field of food security. GACM food cooperatives provide members with much more than nutritious food. Members gain skills, confidence and faith as they come together to sort and pack food in a joyful and caring environment. Through 5 food co-ops low-income 250 families gain housing security, find purpose, validation and support one another in community. GACM has a long history of stability and consistency. They have a model that honors and empowers those members of our society who are often marginalized and dismissed. GACM also has the experience, knowledge and talent to grow and expand food security for all Americans.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through the stories of transformed lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to see them gain national publicity.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

If I had ten stars to give this group I would! I cannot say enough good things about the work of Georgia Avenue Community Ministry. As a ministry addressing food security, the model of the food cooperative used at GACM is a wonderful example of how to maximize food bank resources in a way that also builds relationships among food coop members as well. The staff at GACM is not only competent; they are some of the most genuinely trustworthy people who are passionate about their work that I have ever met. It is a privilege to visit with them and to observe the coops in operation and I would encourage others to do just that. Words cannot do this ministry justice.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the way the coops operate and the information that is shared among them at meetings. It is an uplifting experience.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways for more people to learn about their good work and support it financially. I would also encourage people to think about starting something like this in their own community.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

How did you learn about this organization?

from a visit while at graduate school at emory

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

I've been connected with the Georgia Avenue Community Ministry for several years. Originally as a volunteer helping the organization with planning and direction setting and most recently as a board member. I've watched individuals in this organization and its food cooperatives work dilligently to give low-income individuals a viable means to feed their families. As co-op members work with the co-op they strengthen the community and many build leadership skills in the process. In a climate where too many Americans experience food insecurity GA Ave Community Ministry has a long wait list of those desiring to be a part of a co-op needs additional resources ($$$$) to respond. The work of this organization has demonstratd high individual, family and community value and impact.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

No.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase funds available to this organization.

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

I have been involved with the Georgia Avenue Cooperative Ministry's Food Coop program through my work at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, which provides much of its food. The Food Coop's five cooperatives each provide essential food and other donated items to over 250 families. Many of these families have children. For as little as $5 every two weeks, each family receives an abundance of basic food items, including meat, bread, fruit and vegetables. For most of these families, this food is the difference between eating regularly and going hungry. Not only that, but the Food Coop reinforces the dignity of its members and helps them improve their lives. Coop members are expected to contribute not only money but their time and cooperation to make the Coop run. This builds confidence, involvement and community. Many Coop members report that belonging to the Coop has helped them in ways that go far beyond the food. The GACM operates a very small and lean organization. Operating on a shoestring budget, Chad Hale and his staff make an enormous difference in the lives of many families in some of Atlanta's poorest neighborhoods.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the enormous difference the Coops make in the lives of their members. Most recently, I visited just before Thanksgiving. To see the impact of the food being distributed, including turkeys for Thanksgiving, and to witness the community spirit, joy and gratitude of the members was truly heart-warming.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the program -- open more Coops.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

It is a membership organization. Clients need to apply, and must commit to support the Coop in order to join. By doing this, the Coop creates a sense of dignity and community among its members.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

This organization serves as a shinning example for all food coops. Not only do they partner with the community by providing food that fill in the gap left when the end of the month out last the money and food in the pantry but they also provide health education for all the participants so that they can work to achieve better health. It has been my pleasure to serve as a volunteer for this organization and I look forward to providing more services in the coming months and years. My role has been that of health educator and as the State Diabetes educators for the State of Georgia I can truly say that this organization is making a HUGE difference!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The types of foods provided and the quality of health information they provided to the participants

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Clone them

November 29, 2010

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November 29, 2010

The Georgia Avenue Community Ministry and food co-ops are a sign of hope for our Atlanta region. The co-ops are a way for low-income residents to organize themselves into strategic communities which then provide food and care to one another. Through these co-ops, people discover the gifts and beauty in their neighbors, often in people they had discounted. With their vision and hope, with their hard work, with their care for one another, communities are being transformed while people are being fed. -Rev. Dr. David Jenkins, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the ways it has inspired students of mine and transformed lives while attending to food security.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help Atlanta foundations, corporations, civic leaders, and local residents discover the great need this is meeting and the number of people it is serving.

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