Food banks in Fayette have switched to drive-thru service

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Real Life Center volunteers Vicki Free, George Holguin, and Jennifer Dobbs serve drive-thru clients.
Real Life Center volunteers Vicki Free, George Holguin, and Jennifer Dobbs serve drive-thru clients.

Local food banks in Fayette County are seeing an increase in those needing assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic. Fayette Samaritans in Fayetteville and the Real Life Center in Tyrone are busy meeting needs and are currently supplying only food items.

Fayette Samaritans President Linda Ladd said, though closed the first two weeks in March, the organization in the past seven weeks is seeing families who have previously been to the center and a number of others who are new to the service.

Fayette Samaritans is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11:30 a.m. for drive-thru service in order to maintain social distancing. Someone will bring food to the car, Ladd said, adding that clients must be residents of Fayette County.

Ladd said the types of food needed are canned meats, pasta and pasta sauce, jellies and jams, peanut butter, canned fruit, dried beans, boxed potatoes, rice, canned vegetables and soup.

Whether individuals, churches or neighborhoods, Ladd said, “The community has really responded to the need, and has been very positive.”

For information on how to receive services or to make a donation, call 770-719-2707 or visit fayettesamaritans.org

Fayette Samaritans is located at 126 Hickory Road at the intersection of New Hope Road in Fayetteville.

Real Life Center Executive Director Cathy Berggren said the organization in mid-March switched to supplying only food and are now taking only food donations.

Noting the need in the communities of Fayette and Coweta counties, Berggren said the period of March 16 through April 30 came with a 66 percent increase in families needing assistance compared to this time last year.

The hours of operation at Real Life have been modified and include drive-thru food pick-up on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until noon and on Thursdays from 5-7 p.m.

Berggren said those receiving a week’s worth of pre-bagged food items can stay in their vehicle when arriving at the center.

Integral to providing assistance to those in need is receiving donations of food. And that is where the community can continue to help.

“The community has been amazing in helping with donations,” Berggren said. “It’s neighbor helping neighbor. That’s what we’re about.”

The most needed food items from donations include canned pasta sauce, dry pasta, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruit and vegetables, crackers, tuna, canned soup, pasta and meat, macaroni and cheese, rice and dry beans, Ramen noodles, cereal and breakfast items and boxes potatoes.

Berggren said Real Life in the past two weeks has re-started its financial assistance program for Fayette and Coweta residents. Those interested can sign-up on the center’s website or call.

Real Life Center is located at 975 Ga. Highway 74 North in Tyrone.

For more information on obtaining food supplies or to make a donation call 770-631-9334 or visit reallifecenter.org