Georgia Avenue Community Ministry is an amazing place where people in need are nourished with food and a supportive community that helps them grow. The first time I went to a food coop meeting I was moved by the spirit of faith in not only God, but also in each other. I was also moved by the total acceptance of each person, regardless of whether a person has any or no religious affiliation. People who might otherwise be hopeless about where there next meal might come from were working to fill boxes with food from the food bank, not just for themselves but for others as well. This was a group of people committed to lifting each other up. The food cooperative program run by GACM is lead by Pastor Hale, Brian R. and Ella, a food cooperative member. They are building and expanding the reach of the food cooperative networks. Each person who receives food is obligated to help in the distribution process. Food coop members do work that supports integrity, accountability, and community leadership as they distribute the food during food cooperative meetings. They give of themselves and by doing so become vested and empowered in the process. This is what makes GACM different from a food bank or a soup kitchen. Those benefited by the food are participating in the service of themselves and others. The work is earnest and it is not easy. But done together, each person leaves with the support and food he or she needs. The result is that people in the community are growing in skills that can translate to employment. GACM is healing communities that are undernourished through its food cooperatives. I wish that everyone would go to one of the food cooperative meetings, because you cannot help but be inspired by what is happening there.
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.