This time, the schools welcomed the idea. Gillespie and partner Marco Shaw set up operations in the kitchen of their Cold Beer restaurant in Old Fourth Ward. Second Helpings Atlanta delivers the home-style meals twice a week. Through the schools, the food feedback has been a bit surprising.
“By far the most popular have been chicken and dumplings, oven-fried chicken, meatloaf, different catfish preparations – things that make you think of a home-cooked meal,” said Gillespie. “But surprisingly, people keep asking for more veggies. We’re happy to introduce them to food they wouldn’t otherwise try or have access to.”
Since starting in 2020, the foundation has provided more than 225,000 meals. Substantial financial support has come from Gillespie himself, who put up $400,000 of his own money to get it going. In lieu of pay for work he did with Swift Meats, he accepted about 8,000 pounds of meat.
In December, he donated another $25,000 of his own funds. Additionally, meals at Cold Beer directly support the project, and $20 online donations provide a week of meals for a family of four.
For information, visit gunshowatl.com.
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