For 25 years, Malachi’s Storehouse has been addressing food insecurity in Metro Atlanta by providing both groceries and hot meals for those in need of emergency support. An outreach ministry of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Dunwoody, Malachi’s has faithfully served older people, children, parents, singles, and people of all ages experiencing homelessness with dignity and respect for each individual, with no matter to what life experience brought them to its door.
By the end of 2019, Malachi’s was able to provide:
- Groceries to 40,000 people in need
- 657,000 pounds of food
- Nearly 10,000 hot lunches
- Toys to over 500 children
- Backpacks and school supplies to 500 students
Then COVID-19 hit, and demand for Malachi’s Storehouse’s help has doubled.
Sadly, data confirms the reports we hear in the news about the impact of the pandemic: economic shutdown and closed schools are driving food insecurity to record numbers. The Atlanta Community Food Bank, the largest source of food for Malachi’s Storehouse, reports a 300% increase in inquiries from people seeking food assistance in its 29-county service area (including Metro Atlanta). Feeding America estimates that due to the pandemic, 54 million people in the U.S. may face hunger in 2020, including more than 18 million children. This represents a 55% increase over 2019.
Now Malachi’s provides boxes of groceries, including dairy, produce, and proteins, to almost 300 families per week, compared to an average of 150 boxes per week last year. Also, Malachi’s recently provided 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies to local children, a number nearly triple its annual distribution of roughly 500.
Meeting the demand for groceries and employing social distancing measures has forced Malachi’s to change its service delivery model. Before the pandemic, Malachi’s greeted those in need with a hot lunch and conversation; afterward, clients would shop for groceries market style, selecting items they need. It was common for guests to spend three hours on site. Clients now drive through and receive a pre-packaged box, and no lunch is served.
Judi Carlson, Director of Malachi’s Storehouse, is proud of how well the ministry has pivoted to keep volunteers and guests safe during the pandemic, although she is sad that in-person lunches are on hold. “I miss having lunch all together. We are used to spending time building community, but cannot do that the same way now.”
As is the case with most nonprofits, partners such as MARTA and DeKalb County have been critical sources of support for Malachi’s growth. MARTA provides a shuttle from the Chamblee station, increasing accessibility of Malachi’s site. Members of St. Patrick’s have been invaluable, too, serving lunches, packing boxes, and raising funds. If you, too, would like to partner with Malachi’s Storehouse, they could use your assistance. Because of COVID-19, financial support is the best way to support the ministry.
How You Can Help
Funds are needed for:
- Groceries for weekly distributions and for Thanksgiving Turkeys
- Toys for the annual November toy drive
- Tablets to implement a new food and client tracking system
- Day-to-day operations
To learn more about Malachi’s Storehouse or to make a donation, visit their website at malachisstorehouse.org