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Serving Good In The Neighborhood

Youths give back with annual Inman Park food drive

Collecting cans for those in need is easy. But the generous folks behind the annual Inman Park/ food drive (through Nov 13) take it one step further by getting their children involved to instill a sense of giving at an early age.

“The drive has been happening for about seven or eight years now,” said Tom Baldwin, one of the coordinators.

“A group of us starting doing it years ago as a way of getting our kids involved, getting them to volunteer.”

Inman Park’s food drive is done through IPUMC and the collected cans go to the Intown Collaborative Ministries food bank, whose mission is to build relationships and find permanent solutions to homelessness and hunger right here in the neighborhood. (They serve area codes 30306 and 30307). In previous years, the drive has benefited other food banks in Atlanta, but it’s been ICM (a mission of the church) for the last few.

Last year, more than 70 bags of food were collected and there are high hopes to surpass that goal this year. 

To encourage can donation, the organizers drop off bags to people in the neighborhood so they’ll fill them with cans. And to make it even easier, they pick up the bags and take them to the church. The kids help with this aspect of the operation.

“Those of us with trucks will do the drop-offs and pick-ups; the kids will ride around with us and hop out and grab the bags. We have donuts and just make it fun for them. They enjoy doing it,” Baldwin said.

The neighborhood youths who participate in the drive are anywhere from 6 to 12 years old.

Items currently in need include:

  • Powdered milk (small, quart size, envelopes)
  • Cereal (either single serve or small boxes; not family size)
  • Snack bars (granola, fruit)
  • Small canned meats (spam, chicken, Vienna sausage, potted meat)
  • Canned beans (pinto, black, red)
  • Canned meals (ravioli, Spaghetti-Os, beef stew)
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Macaroni and cheese (boxes)
  • Pasta sauce (don't need pasta)
  • Can openers
  • Coffee (instant, ground, single-serve)
  • Sugar (bags, packs)
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Juices/drink mixes (single, quarts, packs)
  • Pop-top cans are preferred when possible

If you haven’t received a bag and would like to donate, you can drop off food items at Inman Park United Methodist Church, 1015 Edgewood Ave., by noon on Sunday, Nov. 13. 

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