Countless metro Atlantans continue to help others in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s a sampling of the local residents and organizations aiding others:

Atlanta Community Food Bank

About a dozen individuals, companies or nonprofits, including foundations, have donated funds, including some six-figure gifts, to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the food bank has seen a 300% increase in inquiries from individuals and families seeking food assistance. The food bank has also grown food distribution by 43%, providing more than 29.75 million meals to struggling families in metro Atlanta and north Georgia since March 16.

To aid in the food bank’s dramatically increased efforts to fill the meal gap, the following companies donated critical funds to ensure it could continue helping Georgians in need during the pandemic: Bank of America Foundation, BlackRock, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta, Feeding America, First Communities, Gas South, Intercontinental Exchange, Jeff Bezos in partnership with Feeding America, McKesson Foundation, PNC Foundation, Primerica Foundation, Publix Super Market Charities, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, Rotary Club of Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Truist Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and Yardi Systems Inc.

These partners provided contributions that have and will continue to support the food bank’s emergency COVID-19 response by purchasing additional food and grocery products, significantly expanding mobile pantry distributions and providing crucial capacity building resources to our partner agencies. It is also targeting hard-hit communities with special emergency food distributions to ensure access to nutritious food for families in need.

Every $1 can provide enough food for up to four meals. For more information or to donate, visit www.acfb.org.

YMCA of Metro Atlanta

The YMCA of Metro Atlanta has played an integral role in hunger relief efforts during the pandemic. Since March 16, the Y has provided 116, 456 grab-and-go meals and 28,311 family packs of food, for a total of 229,700 individual meals. Through partnerships with World Central Kitchen and Common Market, the YMCA continues to increase its contributions.

Here’s a closer look at some of its efforts:

♦ The Wade Walker Family YMCA has established a partnership with World Central Kitchen, in which local restaurants provide 1,000 meals for families in need to pick up at this location.

♦ This week marked the 17th consecutive week of YMCA staff at the Villages of Carver YMCA packing and sorting family food packs, distributing over 13,100 backpacks of food to nine different locations around metro Atlanta.

♦ At the Robert D. Fowler YMCA, each week and throughout the duration of COVID-19, staff and members at this location have provided weekly groceries to 20 low-income families.

♦ At the McCleskey – Northeast Cobb YMCA/Northwest Cobb YMCA locations, individuals have packed a total of 12,007 back packs of food for Marietta City Schools district students and families living in low-income apartment complexes. Additionally, the McCleskey Northeast Cobb YMCA is helping provide free breakfast and lunch to students all summer long. In the past two weeks 6,550 meals were served to Marietta district students.

Fix Georgia Pets

Fix Georgia Pets, a Buckhead-based nonprofit that works with recognized low-cost spay/neuter organizations to combat the significant pet overpopulation in the state, recently joined the nationwide #SpayTogether Coalition to increase support for Georgia's companion animals.

Last month #SpayTogether announced it would match Fix Georgia Pets fundraising up to $20,000 to benefit spay/neuter surgeries in Georgia.

Backed by some of the largest animal welfare groups in the U.S. and administered by The Humane Society of the United States, #SpayTogether was created to provide support to animal shelters, veterinary clinics and rescue organizations with a backlog of spay/neuter surgeries due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

In a July 28 email, Fix Georgia Pets announced #SpayTogether this summer has granted over $2.3 million to groups in all 50 states to provide over 54,000 spay neuter surgeries to decrease pet overpopulation. It also donated 50,000 microchips and more than 23,000 vaccines.

Because Fix Georgia Pets provided matching funds allocated for Georgia so more pets would benefit, due to the partnership, $40,000 was awarded to Georgia. These grants will greatly help the backlog of surgeries by fixing over 1,300 pets in a three-month period in the state.

The grant recipients are: Barrow County Animal Control, Habersham County Animal Care and Control, Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes County, National Spay Alliance Foundation, Planned PEThood of Georgia and The Rescue Ranch

For more information or to donate, visit www.fixgeorgiapets.org.

Verizon

New York-based Verizon announced it is donating small-business grants totaling more than $80,000 to 11 metro Atlanta businesses, as part of the last round of the company's #PayItForwardLIVE initiative driven by the pandemic. In total, 38 metro Atlanta small businesses have received grants totaling more than $330,000 as part of this initiative.

Verizon’s support for the 777 small-businesses nationwide receiving grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 through the program will total $7.5 million. These grants are meant to help small businesses meet payroll, pay rent and cover additional immediate operational needs.

The recipients in metro Atlanta include: C-Room TV LLC in Decatur, LarTech Solutions LLC in Snellville, Bamboos Jamaican Restaurant in Lawrenceville, Solo Haven Nail Salon in Marietta, New Georgia Media Inc (dba El Nuevo Georgia Newspaper) in Norcross, Yummy Korean Fried Chicken in Duluth, Distinct Tax in Morrow, Daring to Begin LLC in Forest Park, Crimson Beauty Salon in Morrow and Golden Talent Agency and Ella's Beauty Mart, both in Atlanta.

More than 224,000 small businesses have applied to the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund through Local Initiatives Support Coalition, and of the businesses receiving grants, 64% are women-owned, 90% minority-owned and 11% are veteran-owned. The grantees are in cities and towns nationwide, with most operating in underserved communities that do not have access to flexible, affordable capital.

Metro Atlanta Chamber

The Metro Atlanta Chamber July 30 announced 24 recipients of the Restore ATL Fund, in partnership with the CareSource Foundation. The fund, totaling $180,000, will support Black-owned, small- and medium-sized businesses impacted by the outbreak.

The recipient companies represent a number of industry sectors adversely impacted during the pandemic, including accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment and recreation; and healthcare and social assistance. About 70% of recipient companies are woman-owned, three companies are veteran-owned and more than 300 were employed by recipient companies as of March.

In June, the foundation donated $180,000 to jump-start the fund. The Dayton-based health plan pivoted its charitable resources to support both frontline health care providers, to meet the variable community needs around social determinants of health and, most recently, to support small businesses in their local markets.

The fund will provide immediate gap assistance to the recipient companies and grants can be used for operating expenses including rent, utilities, payroll and other business-related needs. Grant recipients were selected by a diverse volunteer review panel representing members of metro Atlanta’s business community across industries.

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