CONYERS—At Thanksgiving, the Resource Center for Community Action (RCCA) provided more than 400 families with supplies and pounds of food. At Christmas, the organization hosted a party for about 300 people, providing free food, live entertainment and toys.
The numbers of needy continue to grow, RCCA founder Siddiya Swift says, and the group is looking for ways to continue to help.
“With the present economy, under employment and food stamps being lowered, people keep coming,” said Swift. “People come from Rockdale, Newton, DeKalb, Monroe, McDonough and Oxford and pretty much whoever else needs help. The need is great and we want to help anyone we can.”
Now that the holidays are over, Swift said her organization needs help from the community to replenish supplies for the needy. RCCA hopes to distribute food this month, but is relying on the generosity and donations of those who are better off.
“Some of our shelves are practically stripped down from the Thanksgiving mobile food pantry,” said Swift. “We have a good amount of meat here but other needs have grown for us.”
Items the organization needs include produce, both canned and fresh; peanut butter, rice; cereal; dry beans; dry milk; and eggs.
Swift and about 20 to 50 volunteers come together once a month to distribute the food and other items. The Home Depot and local grocery stores donate many of the items. U-Haul also donates a truck to haul all the goods. RCCA has been running the monthly food pantry for about six years at the county government annex at 1400 Parker Road in Conyers.
For Conyers resident Jarvis McCollyn, who is unemployed and taking care of his disabled uncle, the RCCA has served as a lifeline.
“This was a life saver for us. I really appreciate that nobody judges you here. Everybody is nice and treats you with respect,” said McCollyn. “They don’t do if for the money. They really care. Siddiya really gets us.”
Swift gets help from volunteers like Susan Cannon, who serves on RCCA’s Board of Directors. Cannon directs cars and signs up families during mobile food drives. Often, when the distribution days are held, lines of cars snake around the parking lot at the government annex.
Along with the food pantry and clothes closet, the Rockdale organization also provides emergency financial assistance, life skills training, as well as referrals for employment, education and housing.
To qualify for food pantry access, applicants are required to provide information on each resident in the household. While applicants do not have to disclose specific financial information, they are asked to share what circumstances they are currently experiencing that is causing financial hardship, such as unemployment or a change in income.
For more information on how to help the RCCA or if you are in need, call 770-760-1346.