The Georgia Avenue Community Ministry continues to be an organization that provides individual and families with support that empowers and reminds members of their intrinsic worth. The programs of GACM create partnerships between volunteers, staff, and members that highlights the gifts, strenghts and talents of every individual involved and creates a mutually supportive environment where everyone has something to offer. No only have the organization faithfully served the Atlanta community for well over 20 years, but is now having an increased impact around the country as organizations are beginning to learn of their work and replicate the GACM Model. I look forward to seeing the ways the influence of the organization continues to tranform the way many individuals and organizations serve their communities.
I was introduced to the work of Georgia Avenue Community Ministry while working as a social worker in Atlanta. It was immediately evident to me that this organization used a model of support extremely unique in regards to addressing hunger. The Food Cooperative model of GACM provides food security, community building, and participant empowerment and dignity through a process that holistically supports individuals and families. The members of GACM are not only provided with food, but are also provided space to use their gifts, talents, and resources for the betterment of other participants, the group at large, and the organization. This model breaks down the helper/helped paradigm and allows everyone to give and everyone to receive.
I love Georgia Avenue Community Ministeries ! I first learned of GACM while living in their neighborhood among them during the 1980's for two years. At this time I began to see & understand the need of lower income families and individuals whose most basic needs were being met through the food Co-op right out of the Georgia Avenue Church. GACM is a hands on service and Beacon of light to those who need and deserve help and a boost up the most. Over the years and decades I have been fortunate to stay in touch and up to date with those keeping the engine fueled and working for the same area for over twenty years. The commitment by director Chad Hale and his team has endured the test of time and has helped countless people who are down on the their luck and or under severe misfortune. A Beacon of light indeed. Last December I was fortunate enough to pass through South East Atlanta twice and made a point of stopping in at the Wednesday afternoon community lunch. It was awesome to see so many people gathered in the Ga. Ave church basement. I ate with these folks and they welcomed me heartily to make me feel, I a passer through, was their friend. It refreshed me to see such a dynamic love in action. Ga. Ave Community ministeries is a vital artery of life giving and affirmative support for countless dozens and hundreds who other wise would most lokely be left in dire isolation and abandonment. I whole heartedly endorse their efforts to make a signifacant difference among the less fortunate.
I am a freelance writer and have been working on a volunteer basis with Atlanta nonprofit organizations. I was introduced to the Georgia Avenue Cooperative Ministry's Food Coop through my husband, who is on the Board of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. When I heard about the Coop, I thought GACM would be an organization I would like to help. I visited the Coop just before Thanksgiving, and witnessed the strong spirit of community among the members. For a small fee, families are able to put food on their tables with pride. The members contribute not only money, but they gather at GACM on their assigned food distribution days, and when the truck arrives with the food, they distribute food to each family. All the while, there is a sense of faith and camaraderie. Chad Hale, the Executive Director, does a wonderful job coordinating all this, and he is the driving force for this important organization.
I find Georgia Avenue Community Ministry to be the most inspiring nonprofit organization that I have encountered. I know how hard it is to provide help and at the same time empower the people you serve since I spent seven years as an executive director of a nonprofit organization. Georgia Avenue Community Ministry accomplishes this balance in a remarkable way. This organization gives encouragement as well as food security in a joyful and respectful manner.
Paradigm for food security best sum's up for me how this organization operate's. These dedicated members, volunteer's alike..have built through the year's a safe haven for families to garner the essentials, namely food, that would of been obsolete. Chad Hale, Director, has developed a food co-op that allow's low-income and less fortunate to come together, work side by side through food distribution, meal prep, discipline, and respect for of community. A non-denominational concept, everyone is welcome is the core practice of this team! Whether weekday lunch [free], giving consul, or linking recipient's to opportunitie's they may have never had...the mission is boundless. Testimony to this is the ongoing start-ups throughout Georgia and now out of state. How exciting! The friut of the spirit lives through Georgia Ave. Community Ministry!
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 have stopped by the Georgia Avenue Community Ministry on a few occasions and I follow its ministry closely through contacts with its leadership. I am impressed both with the organization, character, and purpose of this organization. Food security is exactly the sort of radical re-focus that is demanded by the gospel. Teaching brothers and sisters to fish is just not possible in this metropolis. But providing a place and support for brothers and sisters to organize a community to distribute food and other necessities at almost no cost is possible. GACM is proof positive. The Spirit moves freely. The joy of thanks is evident and constant. And the discipline of community is clear. The shareholders have each other in mind and they support one another with all the things that people need from community - hope, encouragement, mutual aid, and gracious discipline. I strongly recommend this organization.
This is a great organization that offers services to their clients in several areas. They are organized and encourage the clients to be involved. I am impressed with their efforts to provide health education awareness messages.
Witnessing the ministry at Georgia Avenue Community Ministry is a transformative experience. Immediately one feels part of an wholistic, intimate, and nourishing community that many in our society long for. Simple concepts of sharing and hospitality are lived out within this community which brings forth sustainable living, joy, and hope. It is nourishing to my soul and body to be around the folks at Georgia Avenue Community Ministry. They inspire and challenge me to cultivate and look for glimpses of the realm of God on earth.
I am proud to be a member of Ga Avenue Food Coop since the incetion. I was one of the people that wrote the proposal that made it possible to start the second cop. This organisation provide to people food that otherwise thye would not have to supplement waht they can afford t buy. This food is not ahandout because the members are a community that works togehter to make rules to gvoern how the cops run. The member do not only receive food but aso education about things of concern to them. GACM give people food security that otherwise would not have. Thank You.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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