Food Bank of NE Ga. receives grant

The Athens-based Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, which serves 14 counties including four in the immediate Gainesville area, has been awarded a $10,000 grant through a nomination by Jackson EMC to the CoBank Sharing Success Program. The grant will help the food bank provide the equivalent of 30,000 meals through its distribution channels and partners. 

The counties in our area are Barrow, Habersham, White and Jackson.

“Inflation and supply chain challenges have increased food costs for families and the Food Bank, including 65,000 people at risk of food insecurity in our area,” said Erin Barger, executive director. 

In 2022, Jackson EMC provided the Food Bank with a $50,000 donation, which was made possible using margin refunds that had been unclaimed by the electric cooperative’s members for five years. Legislation passed in 2005 permits Georgia’s electric cooperatives to make charitable, educational and economic development contributions of unclaimed margin refunds. 

The Jackson EMC donation made the nonprofit organization eligible for a grant nomination from the CoBank Sharing Success program. The program matches contributions — up to $10,000 —made by its cooperative members, including Jackson EMC. 

CoBank is a national cooperative bank serving industries and utilities in rural areas of all 50 states. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers.

(Food Bank of Northeast Georgia picture: Volunteers prepare meals for summer event.)