Operation Isaiah Food Drive | Community Spirit
Operation Isaiah to ‘Share Bread’ with Atlanta’s Hungry - Citywide Food Drive benefitting Atlanta Community Food Bank Marks 21st Year
ATLANTA (September 28, 2011) – Atlanta’s Jewish community is preparing to kick off its 21st annual food drive called Operation Isaiah, collecting nonperishable food items for the Atlanta Community Food Bank during the High Holy Days. Following in the words of Isaiah, “share your bread with the hungry,” Operation Isaiah brings together thousands of metro Atlanta children, adults and elders from the Jewish faith to help put food on the tables of the hungry each year during the time of Yom Kippur.
”The Operation Isaiah food drive has been a tremendous gift to our community for 20 years,” said Bill Bolling, the Food Bank’s executive director and founder. “Distribution to our partner agencies was up 34% this past fiscal year, and community efforts like this help us meet the continued increase in demand.”
Ahavath Achim Synagogue, one of the city’s oldest congregations, founded the food drive in 1990. Since then, Operation Isaiah has evolved to become a citywide annual opportunity for Atlanta Jewish residents to unite and continue a spirit of giving and sacrifice. With almost every Jewish congregation and school in the metro area participating, the drive has now grown into one of the area’s largest food drives, bringing in more than 623,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank throughout its twenty-year history. In 2010, the drive raised over 41,790 pounds.
“As a congregation we are happy to help our community,” said Rabbi Neil Sandler of Ahavath Achim Synagogue. “Every year on Yom Kippur morning we hear the prophetic message of Isaiah…‘This is the fast I desire…to share your bread with the hungry…’ These are unfortunately timeless words. They must speak to us on Yom Kippur when we fast and on every other day when we do not. Let us really hear the words and respond. Operation Isaiah is one way we can do that.”
JEWISH HIGH HOLY DAYS
Families and individuals observing the High Holy Days will begin their personal fasts by donating bags of nonperishable foods to the Food Bank. Collected food is then distributed by the ACFB to more than 700 partner nonprofit organizations that help feed children, elderly citizens and working poor families who otherwise might go without food. For information on the food drive, contact James Johnson at 404.892.9822, ext 1227.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA COMMUNITY FOOD BANK
The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) began operating in 1979 in a small space at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and now distributes over 30 million pounds of food and grocery products each year from a 129,600 square-foot facility in N.W. Atlanta. This product is utilized by more than 700 partner nonprofits that provide food assistance to families and individuals in 38 counties in metro Atlanta and North Georgia. ACFB leads seven distinct projects that reinforce its mission to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community: Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, Atlanta’s Table, Community Gardens, Hunger 101, Hunger Walk/Run, Kids In Need and Product Rescue Center.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the national network of more than 200 food banks. For more information on the Food Bank, visit www.ACFB.org, and for more information on Feeding America visit www.feedingamerica.org.