By Noah Washington
On Monday, March 20 a cord to a healthier life was created on Magnolia Street in Vine City with the official launch of the city’s newest food bank, provided by The Everyone Eats Foundation as their gift to the city of Atlanta.
The opening of the food bank was accompanied by members of the Mayor’s office. Also in attendance were staff from health insurance agency Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, who had committed $150,000 to assist The Everyone Eats Foundation in securing the brick-and-mortar location.
Combating food insecurity has been a focal point of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ initial term in office. The collaboration came to be when Anthem approached the mayor’s office looking to provide the Atlanta community with healthier lifestyles. The City would then contact Summer Jo, Founder of The Everyone Eats.
“So many people in the Vine City community are suffering from diabetes because of poor nutrition,” Dickens said. “Summer Jo, with her team from Everyone Eats is supplying food for everyone to take home, this includes cooked food, as well as fresh food items that they can cook themselves. It is amazing to see what Jo has done and to connect her with Anthem Blue Shield who supplied the funds to do this.”
In development since 2017, the pillars of Everyone Eats are education, empowerment, and enrichment. Everyone Eats focus is event-based community service, which combines community service with a little bit of fun.
“When you do the work it’s hard to get the recognition, and even the money; especially when you are helping people. It sounds absurd, you must be in the streets and do the work, and to finally be recognized by organizations like Anthem is amazing,” Jo said. “The next step is growing out the garden and keeping the pantries full, and building out the restaurant.”
The Everyone Eats Foundation is looking to bring the gift of wellness to the Vine City area and the larger city of Atlanta.
“You want to try and help everyone, and you want to invest in groups where it will have the biggest impact. Summer knows the people who are coming and going,” said the president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Robert Bunch.