Families struggling to put food on their tables are getting help from two different food distribution efforts that start Tuesday.
There will be a one-time, pop-up farmer’s market Tuesday in the Swift and Finch parking lot on Broad Street from 4 to 6 p.m. The market is coordinated through the Between the Rivers Farmers Market and a eight-time distribution of non-perishable foods through HOPE Alliance and the Davies Farm Bus over the next two weeks.
“We want to be clear that we are not trying to duplicate what the schools are doing,” Davies Shelters Executive Director Devon Smyth said Monday. “What HOPE Alliance is doing with the help of the Community Kitchen and AMP (Arts, Music and Purpose Rome) is fill in the gaps during the week when the schools are not providing meals.”
City and county schools both plan to feed children while they are closed for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns. However, they are only planning on doing so three times a week.
Thanks to a food drive Saturday at Rome First United Methodist Church, there are now 70 boxes of non-perishable food that will be handed out throughout the next two weeks from the Davies Farm Bus to anyone who needs them.
Smyth stressed the local Salvation Army also has been instrumental in these efforts, helping provide critical supplies for HOPE Alliance.
"They provided the boxes, the peanut butter and meals," Smyth said. "They are champions!"
Those distributions will be:
♦ Tuesday, March 17 & 24, 10 to 11 a.m. at Second Avenue Baptist Church, 823 E. Second Ave.
♦ Tuesday, March 17 & 24, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at West Rome Baptist Church, 914 Shorter Ave.
♦ Thursday, March 19 & 27, 10 to 11 a.m., the the corner of East Main and Glover streets (across from Anna K. Davie Elementary).
♦ Thursday, March 19 & 27, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at North Broad Baptist Church, 1309 Broad St.
The boxes contain pasta meals, cans of vegetables, cans of fruit, canned spaghetti or stew, boxes of mac and cheese, a hot or cold instant breakfast item and snack packs, Smyth said.
She said if anyone else wants to donate food items, they can bring them to the Community Kitchen between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. over the next two weeks.
“We promise we will pack those items and get them out to people,” she said.
The March 17 pop-up farmer’s market coordinated by Elisabeth Lawson at 600 Broad St. will offer meats, cheeses, eggs, produce, greens and bread from the farms.
“It will be with just the local farmers to provide fresh food to people in this time of food uncertainty,” Lawson said Monday. “This will be a safer environment as it will have fewer people and will be in an open area.”