Athens, GA – The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia was founded in 1992 in an effort to end hunger in northeast Georgia. The Food Bank’s 14‐county service area (5 metro, 9 non‐metro) has an annual meal gap of 18 million lbs (14 million meals), of which it fills 12 million lbs.
New Markets Tax Credits from Rural Development Partners is allowing the Food Bank to close the meal gap and to provide numerous programs, courses, and economic development opportunities (including access to an Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) processing line for flash freezing produce).
Through the NMTC funding, the Food Bank expanded its reach into the Georgia mountain region in 2016 by opening a distribution warehouse and food processing center in Rabun County. The $6.4 million food hub includes a production facility, flash freezing capabilities, a teaching kitchen and a food distribution center. Completion of a commercial kitchen will be completed in 2017.
Through the food hub, the Food Bank aims to combat hunger and spur economic development in northeast Georgia and serve as a small business incubator for farmers by providing local food businesses a space and equipment to produce a marketable product.
The project will create 35 full time employees and provide an outlet for produce from local producers.