Atlanta, Feb 22, 2021 – The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) is pleased to announce the distribution of $11.9 million in supplemental Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to partner agencies to help serve the state’s families and children.
The Georgia Nutrition Assistance Program (GNAP) will share funds with Georgia's eight Feeding America Food Banks to distribute nutritious protein, fruits and vegetables through a network of more than 2,400 nonprofits in all 159 counties.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact on Georgia’s families and children has been profound. With so many facing food insecurity across the state, we are pleased to be able to provide this additional assistance through our partnership with Georgia’s food banks,” said Georgia DFCS Division Director Tom Rawlings.
According to recent reports, since March 2020 and the onset of COVID-19, Georgia’s food banks have experienced at least a 50% increase in demand for food with 40% of clients seeking emergency food assistance for the first time. Many eligible households with children currently served by GNAP are needing additional food support because children have been disproportionately impacted by school and childcare center closures, remote learning and household job losses.
“Throughout our fight with COVID-19, Georgia’s food banks and the nonprofit community have done heroic work to ensure families are cared for and keep food on the table,” said Gov. Brian Kemp. “These additional funds will strengthen those efforts and ensure we fulfill our sacred duty of caring for our children and fellow Georgians. My sincere thanks to Director Rawlings and the team at the Georgia Food Bank Association for all they continue to do to support and protect our most vulnerable.”
Feeding America estimates that child food insecurity in Georgia increased from 16.1% in 2018 to 22% due to COVID. These eight food banks have increased their distribution from 2.4 million meals per week to 4.4 million meals per week due to the economic impact of the COVID pandemic.
“Childhood hunger in Georgia increased 39% due to COVID-related job losses and closures, so these targeted funds will provide much needed protein, fruits and vegetables for programs that feed children and struggling families statewide,” said Danah Craft, executive director of the Georgia Food Bank Association. “We are grateful to Gov. Kemp for this additional funding to help us help others through this emergency.”
This move comes as part of an ongoing response to the pandemic and its effects on Georgia’s communities. It is estimated that 475,000 additional families will benefit from the distribution of these supplemental funds. DFCS is committed to working with local and federal partners to meet the needs of this vulnerable population.
For more information, visit https://dfcs.georgia.gov.