The RER Community Food Bank, founded in 1999, is a full-service food bank providing emergency food to low-income individuals and families living in Rockdale County. The Food Bank helps ensure local residents experiencing food insecurity have access to the nutritional food needed to live a productive and healthy life. Clients are referred by local social service agencies, churches, and local community groups. RER also accepts self-referrals. Participants requesting service from the Food Bank must demonstrate residency and may generally only receive food once every three months, or a maximum of four times per year.
Those requesting assistance from the Food Bank must bring:
A. Proof of identification - requires social security cards for all household members and a photo ID for the person receiving services.
B. Proof of residency in Rockdale County - requires a current lease or utility bill in recipient's name with a Rockdale County address. If client is living in a local hotel/motel s/he must provide a current bill from the hotel/motel.
Food Bank Service Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 10:00-1:30
This past year the Food Bank served 2,403 households which consisted of 7,121 family members. The amount of food distributed totaled 167,544 pounds which was a 4.7 % increase from the previous year. The Food Bank distributes a range of food items, including cereal, pasta, canned fruits, vegetables, beans, and soup. RER also distributes frozen meat, dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables when available.
The RER Community Food Bank depends in large part upon donations of food items collected through drives organized by schools, companies, and religious and social organizations. It is easy to organize a drive for RER - just follow the three steps below:
1. Set the date(s), choose a location, decide what type of items to collect, and let us know of your arrangements. We welcome drives for specific items - feel free to ask us which items are most needed in the food bank during a particular time. RER can often provide a collection barrel for your drive, if desired.
2. Spread the word! RER will provide a customized flyer for your use if you'd like.
3. Collect the items, and then arrange to deliver your items to RER by contacting us directly at (770)922-9210.
RER Community Food Bank programs & partnerships include:
- Rockdale Emergency Relief partners with the Atlanta Community Food Bank in a program called the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). CSFP is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service program that provides free nutritious commodities to eligible elderly participants. The program also provides recipes for food products received through CSFP.
- The Rockdale County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, in cooperation with the Georgia Power Retirees Association and using land donated by Dixie Graphics, have created an officially registered charitable Plant a Row for the Hungry (PAR) vegetable garden. PAR is a program where gardeners dedicate a row or some space in their garden to plant vegetables that will be harvested and given away to those in need. The produce generated by this particular PAR is donated to Rockdale Emergency Relief. During the 2015 growing season over 1,700 pounds of vegetables were delivered to the RER Food Bank.
- Rockdale County Extension Agent Mary Beth Hornbeck offered a summer cooking class series titled The "DAWG" Days of Summer" for RER Food Bank participants in 2016. Families learned where locally donated produce comes from and how to prepare it in safe, healthy, and nutritious ways! Food samples and recipes were available as well. We are looking forward to a fall cooking class series starting mid November 2016.