Community Spotlight: Atlanta nonprofit partners with Westside’s At-Promise Youth Center, helps stretch resources
In April 2018, local nonprofit Second Helpings Atlanta (SHA) began what it now calls one of its most important partnerships to date – a relationship with the Westside’s At-Promise Youth and Community Center.
Seven days a week, SHA’s network of more than 470 volunteer drivers rescue and deliver fresh, perishable food free of charge to more than 45 partner agencies across the Atlanta metropolitan area.
SHA now makes these regular deliveries to At-Promise, ranging from 600-900 pounds per month of surplus fresh, perishable food rescued from sources such as the nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium and downtown’s Ernst & Young office, as well as from NaanStop’s downtown location on Broad Street and its Buckhead store on Piedmont Road.
“The At-Promise Center is a wonderful community resource, providing programs for children that can change the trajectories of their lives,” said Joe Labriola, executive director of Second Helpings Atlanta. “Second Helpings Atlanta is proud to support the At-Promise Center by providing healthy, nutritious food to help feed the growing number of children taking advantage of the Center’s programs.”
In the At-Promise Center, Chef Amber turns Second Helpings Atlanta’s deliveries into lunch or dinner for up to 75 young people at least twice per week.
“We are lucky that our chef is very creative and always knows how to transform the bounty of food that is rescued into a special, nourishing meal. She should be on “Chopped!,” smiles Lakeisha Walker, operations manager of the At-Promise Center. “It’s simple. When we don’t have to spend money on buying food, we are able to stretch our resources further – and that benefits everyone,” says Walker.
“Partnerships with a variety of organizations and companies throughout the city are extremely important to the success of the Center, and our relationship with Second Helpings Atlanta has made quite a difference already since they started regular deliveries of fresh, nutritious food in April of this year,” notes Walker.
In its first year, the Center projected it would provide specialized support services for some 150 youth and young adults ranging from 12 to 24 years of age, but it has already served more than 350 people.
To learn more about Second Helpings Atlanta’s, visit secondhelpingsatlanta.org, or attend Westside Future Fund’s Nov. 2 Transform Westside Summit. Joe Labriola, executive director of Second Helpings Atlanta, will deliver the morning devotion and share his personal journey with the organization and talk about how their work on the Westside has impacted his life and the lives of many others.