“It’s just that we have started working with the church, who provides us with food boxes for anyone in need, it doesn’t have to be someone out looking for a job,” said Service Coordinator for Tallatoona, Sheila Callaway.
The food boxes are different from the boxes for sale at the monthly One Harvest food drive, said Callaway, and this new program is the first of its kind implemented at Tallatoona.
Each box weighs between 35-40 pounds each and contains food items for families. These boxes, unlike One Harvest, are free to families who qualify, according to Callaway.
All boxes are purchased from The Chattanooga Food Bank and brought to Gordon County to serve its citizens, which is the mission of First Apostolic Ministries, according to Callaway.
“Their mission was to help the people of Gordon County instead of out of the country or out of state. They wanted to help our people,” said Callaway.
Individuals, who would like to partake of the food boxes, are eligible if they have not been served at any other food bank within the last few months, which Callaway says is a safety precaution to keep people from abusing the system.
To participate in case management services from Tallatoona, individuals must bring photo identification, a social security card for themselves and everyone in their household, proof of total household income for the last 30 days, and a social security card for everyone in the household.
These requirements are set forth by the state, according to Callaway, but if families or individuals just want the free food, a social security card only is preferred, but scheduling an appointment is mandatory.
“If somebody is just referring them, if it’s just an agency, a church, an organization, or if they are coming in just to get a box of food, they would still need to call us for an appointment,” said Callaway.
The amount of boxes Tallatoona started out with was expected to provide for approximately 133 families, and over the past week, the program has been successful so far, according to Callaway, who says there has been a good response to people coming in and getting help they need.
For more information, to donate or to become involved contact Tallatoona CAP at 706-629-2333.