Final grants given for Cobb’s Operation Meal Plan

Totaling $27,000, the final round of grants for this year's Operation Meal Plan initiative has been distributed to six Cobb nonprofits by the Cobb Community Foundation and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Credit: Cobb County

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Totaling $27,000, the final round of grants for this year's Operation Meal Plan initiative has been distributed to six Cobb nonprofits by the Cobb Community Foundation and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Credit: Cobb County

Credit: Cobb County

The Cobb Community Foundation awarded $27,000 in grants on Nov. 19, wrapping up the final act of Operation Meal Plan.

The initiative began in March of this year with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Cobb Community Foundation (CCF) providing food to those in need, helping local restaurants keep their workers employed and providing a way for citizens to help each other.

“This project was just one great example of how Cobb’s business and nonprofit communities have pulled together to get help to those who need it,” said Sharon Mason, president and CEO of the Cobb Chamber, in a statement.

“Our goal was to find a way to keep our restaurants afloat while providing a valuable resource to our nonprofits who are serving people in need. Operation Meal Plan was a way to link these entities together,” Mason added.

In its first two months in the spring, Operation Meal Plan received $89,000 in community contributions, funding 13,850 meals that were delivered by 22 restaurants and caterers to 30 nonprofit organizations around Cobb - all of which serve meals as a part of their mission.

At the end of May, Operation Meal Plan went on hiatus when Cobb’s Board of Commissioners allocated $1 million from its federal CARES Act dollars for the Cobb County Food Grant, providing an alternative source for funding of these meals for the nonprofits.

Remaining dollars, including half of a $50,000 total contribution to CCF from Lockheed Martin, were held for distribution in the fall.

Payable to six organizations in increments of $3,000 to $6,000, the grants will be used to buy prepared meals from Cobb restaurants or catering businesses.

“Ten months into this pandemic, nonprofit staff members and volunteers desperately need a break,” said CCF’s president and CEO Shari Martin in a statement.

“In many cases, they have been serving significantly more clients, and in all cases, they are doing so with far fewer people. Not only are these grants going to provide some financial relief, they are also going to provide some physical and emotional relief,” Martin added.

The six organizations selected all provide prepared meals as part of their mission:

  • Center for Children and Young Adults (CCYA) – $6,000: CCYA provides a home for youths who have been abused, neglected and/or abandoned by their caregivers. The CCYA campus offers four residential programs in a dormitory setting for up to 42 youths at one time - all of whom need shelter, treatment, care, guidance, breakfast and dinner during the week and three meals a day on the weekend.
  • LiveSAFE Resources - $4,500: Increasing the awareness and reducing the occurrence of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse, liveSAFE Resources provides immediate and transitional housing to victims and their children. These funds will help provide meals for the 40 adults and children in transitional housing and the 30 people currently residing in their shelter.
  • The Table on Delk – $3,500: This nonprofit provides a safe place for those who are currently or at risk of being sexually exploited. The organization provides hot meals to 25 to 30 guests every Tuesday and Wednesday and to 35 to 50 guests every Saturday. This money will allow Table on Delk to purchase warm clothes and meet other basic needs.
  • Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health – $3,500: Devereux supports children and adolescents with emotional and behavior disorders, providing multiple residential options for youths facing emotional, behavioral and intellectual/developmental challenges. Twice a month, 180 residents celebrate their accomplishments with a special meal and a reward party which this grant will help to fund.
  • The Zone – $6,500: The Zone’s focus is enhancing the quantity and quality of support available to people seeking and experiencing long-term recovery from addiction. The Zone remains open on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s and feeds more than 400 people each of those days.
  • The Extension – $3,000: This comprehensive residential recovery program serves homeless men and women who suffer from addiction to alcohol or drugs. Before COVID-19, meals were prepared by volunteers who cooked on-site at the facility. Since COVID-19, although meals can be dropped off, there are many evenings when meals must be purchased for the 57 men in residence.

Information: Shari Martin at 770-859-2366 or shari@CobbFoundation.org, CobbCounty.org, CobbFoundation.org