More than 50 local business and neighborhood leaders attended a lunch on Thursday to learn more about a non-profit that has been around for 24 years, but is seeking to raise its profile throughout Cascade and metro Atlanta.
The (SWEEAC) operates out of , where it sponsored its .
Included in the event was a tour of the organization's offices and storage areas, where it keeps food, clothing, books and other household items and offerings for those in need.
"We operate across denominational lines," said Rev. David Wallace, who co-founded the organization in 1988 with leaders of several local churches in the Adamsville, Ben Hill and Cascade neighborhoods. SWEEAC moved to West Hunter Street Baptist Church in 2006, and has the support of 10 partner churches.
"We have an operating budget of about $70,000, which is augmented by donations and in-kind giving, but within five years, we want to increase that to $200,000," Wallace said. "And there's plenty of need within the community for that purpose."
The organization also wants to increase its staff and cadre of volunteers and supporters.
SWEEAC serves about 11,000 people a year, and distributed more than 120,000 pounds of food in 2009. Families apply for food on Monday, then receive it on Thursday, usually enough to last two to three days. Contributions come from community and social organizations, individuals and grocery chains.
The organization also provides clothing, and has back-to-school and Christmas programs geared toward meeting the needs of the children of the families it serves. Its New Beginnings Workshop provides job-seeking assistance and skill development for financial and household management.
- Greater Turner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church
- Poplar Springs United Methodist Church
- St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church
- St. Mark Lutheran Church