Mac ‘n Cheese festival for a greater good

Community meetings can be informative. They can also open hearts.

From the back of a truck and the willingness of two buddies to help others Neighbor in Need was born.

“The neighborhood really saw the impact of the rising home values on the folks who had been there a long time and many of them living on fixed incomes. We just wanted to do something about it honestly,” said Kyle Caldwell, founder of Neighbor in Need .

There are many low-income seniors living in neighborhoods with increased property values. Homes have aged along with the occupants. Between fixed incomes, taxes, medical issues, cost of living increases and needed home repairs they feel the squeeze.

Neighbor in Need helps them “age in place.” The organization serves three areas: East Lake, Edgewood and Kirkwood.

Their main goal is to repair or replace anything that reduces the quality of life for the homeowner or devalues their home.

“The nice thing about this arrangement is that the homeowner gets a certified licensed plumber, say from Mr. Plumber. They get real warranties, top of the line materials and if something does go wrong, we have someone we can call to get back out there to fix it,” said Caldwell.

Originally set for the end of this month, Edgewood has moved its annual Mac and Cheese Festival to this Oct. 24 due to the COVID-19: 100 percent of the proceeds from the event going to Neighbor in Need, exclusively for the Edgewood community.

“It’s hard not to celebrate mac ‘n cheese and it’s also good to have an excuse to eat it,” said Caldwell.

“I don’t know what goes on in other neighborhoods, but I know that our three neighborhoods have been very intentional about making sure we get to those on fixed incomes that need help,” he said.

Caldwell believes it is time for more communities to step up. They have a lot of experience and are available to teach neighbors in need.

“If anybody is interested in talking, we’d love to do that,” he said. “We can do a lot of work by showing this to other communities.”

Edgewood Mac and Cheese Festival, 1374 Arkwright Place, S.E., Atlanta.

Tickets are still on sale and will be honored on Oct. 24


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