CANTON, GA (November 6, 2023) – Cherokee County employees have created a new local food pantry as part of a community service project.
Twenty-five Cherokee County employees participated in the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s Management Development Program (MDP). As part of the program curriculum, participants complete a project that impacts their community.
“As a class, we wanted to complete a project that would benefit our community and be sustainable for years to come,” said Cherokee County Human Resources Director Kathy Lambert. “We quickly narrowed down the underprivileged communities within Cherokee County and discussed what our greatest impact might be in those areas. We decided to build an outdoor food pantry that would be continuously stocked by organizations and private citizens with a heart to help those in need.”
“Some of us have lived here all our lives. (The citizens) are basically our family,” said EMA Director Daniel Westbrook. “We’re going to take care of them and do what we can. Sometimes you have a stigma in government and that they only care for themselves. Not here. Not in this county.”
This pantry is located outside of Greater Church located at 5744 Bells Ferry Road in Acworth and will be available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pastor Cheno Echevarria, of Greater Church, said he feels the food pantry is placed in a prime location to best serve residents in need.
“I think it’s beautiful that we are in a county that actually cares for the people and is providing for them, not just with words and political slogans but with actions,” Echevarria said.
The food pantry will rely on partnerships with several non-profit agencies and private citizens to be restocked. Partnering agencies include the William Facey Food Bank, Stand Up For Seniors and volunteers from the “Blessings Pantries – Cherokee County’s Free Pantries” Facebook group. Additionally, Greater Church’s food pantry will stock the outdoor pantry with support from the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Publix.
Program participants include 11 employees from Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services, four from the Community Development Agency, three from the Public Services Agency, two from the Community Services Agency, two from the Cherokee Sheriff’s Offices, one from the Administrative Services Agency, one from the Human Resources department and one from the Cherokee County Office of Elections and Voter Registration.
The MDP is a 20-day program that extends over a seven- to eight-month period and offers management and leadership development tailored for local government officials.
ABOUT CHEROKEE COUNTY
Located 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Cherokee County is part of the 11-county metro-Atlanta area. Cherokee County boasts a population of more than 281,000, according to the July 2022 Census estimates. It is the one of the fastest growing counties in the metro region and its overall Board of Commissioners-controlled tax burden per capita is one of the lowest in the region. Cherokee County has award-winning parks and recreational facilities, is a destination for corporate headquarters and is a great place to live, work and play. Cherokee County is the best of both worlds because it’s where “Metro Meets the Mountains.” Learn more at cherokeega.com.
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