Mercedes-Benz offers kitchen, vans, support to help feed needy

Mercedes-Benz USA opened its new headquarters in Sandy Springs on Thursday, March 15, 2018. J. Scott Trubey/strubey@ajc.com

Mercedes-Benz USA is helping to feed the community during the cornavirus pandemic. The company is reaching out to nonprofits and Atlanta Public Schools through its Curbside Caring Initiative to provide meals to food insecure families.

Mercedes-Benz will open its corporate cafeteria kitchen at its Sandy Springs headquarters on Friday to allow large-scale meal preparation. Flick catering company will use the kitchen to prepare 1,000 meals per week for seven weeks. PAWKids, a children’s enrichment program that serves the Grove Park neighborhood in Atlanta, will receive the first week of meals to distribute to local families.

In the following weeks, Second Helpings Atlanta will pick up the meals and deliver them to food banks and other charities. Second Helpings Atlanta normally picks up and redistributes surplus food from grocery stores.

To help schools and nonprofits get more food into neighborhoods that need food assistance during the public health emergency, Mercedes-Benz is loaning three vans each to Atlanta Public Schools, Second Helpings and Open Hand Atlanta.

Mercedes-Benz USA is buying lunch for Sandy Springs first responders during April 

Open Hand currently serves meals to more than 5,200 medically fragile clients around metro Atlanta. The organization expects it will need to serve even more people in May, executive director Matt Pieper said in a statement.

“These Sprinter Vans will immediately be put to use to help us meet this demand,” Pieper added.

With many charitable organizations struggling with the loss of volunteers during the outbreak, Mercedes-Benz wanted to find a way to help nonprofits with specific needs, according to Kat Reynolds, community relations specialist for Mercedes.

“This [initiative] ultimately supports so many more clients across the metro Atlanta footprint,” she said.

In addition to the Curbside Caring Intiative, Mercedes-Benz employees are showing appreciation to Sandy Springs restaurants and first responders. On Thursdays in April, the company is buying lunch for 100 police and fire employees. Mercedes calls on a different restaurant each week to prepare and deliver the meals.

Sandy Springs Public Information Officer Salvador Ortega said the Public Safety department receives ongoing displays of appreciation from Mercedes-Benz and the community.

“We try to thank people for what they do for us,” he said. “It’s an just overwhelming show of support. Last Thursday Mercedes brought City Barbecue. Today it was Breadwinner Café [and Bakery].”

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