A Message from Commissioner Niles: Restock the Shelves 2018

February 13, 2018

The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) will conduct a statewide canned food drive collection campaign benefitting local food banks across Georgia. “Restock the Shelves ‘18” will begin on February 15 and run through March 15, 2018.

I am proud of DJJ employees’ generosity during previous drives to collect food and toiletry items for our communities. As we begin Restock the Shelves ‘18, the collection and donation of similar items will once again help local food banks provide meals and other necessities to the nearly one-in-five Georgians who are unsure of where their meals will come from. Thank you in advance for your assistance and continued generosity.

Restock the Shelves ‘18 is an opportunity for us to help local food banks replenish their supplies after the busy holiday and winter seasons. All donated items will stay in the area where collected to maximize the benefit in the community.

Among the most needed items for donation are canned meats, canned fruits and fruit juice, canned beans, canned soups, stews and pasta. Other items welcomed include peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, whole grain cereals, paper products, diapers and toiletries.

The success of previous Restock the Shelves food drives, along with the initiative of DJJ employees, can help to grow the program in unexpected and positive ways. Leaders of Restock the Shelves ‘18 plan to add donation boxes in the community and work with local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, local school systems and community providers. In addition, and as they have done previously, youth in the care of DJJ will also participate through donations at community services offices around the state.

The canned food and toiletry items collected will be given to the following “partner” food banks across Georgia:

•     Albany – Food Bank of Southwest Georgia – 912-883-2139

•     Athens – Food Bank of Northeast Georgia – 706-354-8191

•     Atlanta – Atlanta Community Food Bank – 404-892-9822

•     Augusta – Golden Harvest Food Bank – 706-736-1199

•     Columbus – Feeding the Valley – 706-561-0896

•     Dalton-NW Chattanooga Area Food Bank—706-508-8591

•     Macon – Middle Georgia Community Food Bank – 478-742-3958

•     Savannah – America’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Coastal Georgia – 912-236-6750

•     Valdosta – Valdosta Food Bank – 912-244-2678

•     Georgia Mountain Food Bank—Hall, Lumpkin, Forsyth, Dawson and Union counties –770-534-4111

The statistics regarding hunger in Georgia are astounding. Examples include:

•     16.2 percent of Georgians – 1 in 6 Georgians – are food insecure, meaning they don’t always know where they will find their next meal. This is well above the national average of 13 percent.

•     23.2 percent of children in Georgia – nearly 1 in 4 – live in food insecure households. This is well above the national average of 17.9 percent. This means that more than 700,000 children in Georgia have been hungry or without access to the food they need for their physical and mental development.

•     27 percent of food insecure households in Georgia have income above 185 percent of poverty and are likely ineligible for any federal food nutrition programs. These working families are struggling in today’s economy. Despite recovery from recession, unemployment and underemployment continue to drive the demand for food assistance in Georgia.

•     Hunger in Georgia impacts seniors, children and working families. 

Learn more at Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap site, with data released in April 2017 (2015 data).



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