New funding allows DeKalb to help growing number of seniors seeking food

DeKalb County recently held several food drives, giving boxes of fresh produce and meat to residents. (Jenni Girtman for Atlanta Journal Constitution)
DeKalb County recently held several food drives, giving boxes of fresh produce and meat to residents. (Jenni Girtman for Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Credit: Jenni Girtman for Atlanta Journal Constitution

Credit: Jenni Girtman for Atlanta Journal Constitution

DeKalb County recently approved a $345,000 federal grant that will allow the county to provide meals to hundreds of additional seniors each month.

The funding comes from the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provided $1.9 million to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

ARC, the official planning agency for the 10 counties that make up metro Atlanta, then doled out the money to the counties.

With the new funds, the DeKalb County Human Services Department will be able to feed an additional 480 seniors every month, the county said in a statement. Since March, the county said it has received over 200 new requests per month from seniors in need of food.

Currently, the department offers meals to 1,200 seniors each month, the county said.

Food insecurity has skyrocketed in metro Atlanta and around the country since the coronavirus pandemic began, with the Atlanta Community Food Bank reporting a 30 to 40% increase in need. Older residents, who are at greater risk for the virus and more likely to be homebound, are especially vulnerable to food insecurity and hunger.

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