Writer: Staff Reports
Published November 6, 2023
Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News
Cherokee County employees have created a new food pantry as part of a community service project.
Twenty-five Cherokee County employees participated in the Carl Vinson Institute of Georgia’s Management Development Program to create the Carl Vinson Food Pantry.
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.”
EMA Director Daniel Westbrook added “some of us have lived here all our lives. (The citizens) are basically our family.”
“We’re going to take care of them and do what we can,” he said. “Sometimes you have a stigma in government, that they only care for themselves. Not here. Not in this county.”
The pantry is located outside of the Greater Church, located at 5744 Bells Ferry Road near Acworth, and will be available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Greater Church Pastor Cheno Echevarria 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 nonprofit 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.
For a video about the new food pantry, visit https://tinyurl.com/mraxmcf3.