In 2000, the youth group at St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church started an emergency food pantry for Stephens County residents in need and began by serving approximately five individuals per month. The needs increased over the years and in 2005, the organization became more structured. When we became a member agency of the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, we were able to secure food at a tremendously low cost. A freezer and refrigerator were donated and both were
put into use. It became obvious that we begin looking at change and the process of becoming a separate entity began. Neighbors 4 Neighbors, Inc. officially began in February 2012 as the successor organization, a Board of Directors was formed, a logo selected, and the search for a larger facility was underway. In June, we were notified of the granting of our 501(c)3 designation effective February 2013. We are an all-volunteer organization with 75 volunteers who serve either in the pantry with those we serve, shopping, stocking shelves or at the mobile pantries.
In February 2013, we moved into a larger facility located at 935 E. Tugalo St., Toccoa, GA. Currently we have four refrigerators and six freezers in use with all being donated. Looking to the future, we realize additional freezer and refrigerator space will be needed.
Individuals receive both perishable and non-perishable food. Personal hygiene items, which cannot be purchased with food stamps, are available as funding allows.
We sponsor through the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia a mobile food
pantry once a quarter. At each event, we distribute approximately 10,000 pounds of food to over 800 individuals.
As the sponsoring agency for the Food 2 Kids program through the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, the number of students being served with weekend food has increased from 10 students in 2010 to 217 students in 2015. Students are referred to the program by teachers and counselors and all names are confidential.
At the annual agency conference of the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia in October, we were honored by being named Model Program of 2013. The agency receiving this award is the President’s award and includes all fourteen counties served by the Food Bank. The recognition was for our food pantry increases, expansion of hours to meet the needs in the community, the commitment to sponsoring mobile food pantries, and our involvement in the growth of the Food2Kids program in Stephens County.
Our Board of Directors
Our mission is …to nourish all who come through our doors, those we serve and those who serve.