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Conyers church partners with Newton High for food giveaway
Pastor encouraged actions will make positive impact
Atlanta Food Bank
The 20,000 pounds of food for the giveaway at Newton High School on Aug. 13 was purchased from the Atlanta Community Food Bank. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Community Food Bank)

COVINGTON, Ga. — Emmanuel Community Church in Conyers is partnering with Newton High School and others to give away nearly 20,000 pounds of food. 

Next week, Thursday, Aug. 13, the church will distribute the food to help families and students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor Eric Suddith said.

“We love Newton County. We love our students and we love [Newton High School Principal] Dr. Shannon Buff,” Suddith said.

“Families are hurting. Our ministry is all about connecting with the community — it’s who we are. We’re just trying to make an impact.”

Suddith said his church typically gives away 1,500 meals per week; in the last year, it has given approximately $1 million in retail value of food, he said.

The food, including what will be given away next week, is purchased from the Atlanta Community Food Bank. 

Figuring out a way to get the food to the school was primed to be an issue, but not for long thanks to Sherwin Williams Corporation.

“One of our church members works for Sherwin Williams,” Suddith said. “When they heard the story, they told us they wanted to help us out by providing a tractor-trailer to transport the food… It’s amazing.”

Suddith said nearly 50 volunteers, including community members, school administrators and students, would be doing most of the heavy lifting.

“They’ll be doing most of the work, handing out the food,” he said. “We’ll just kind of be in the background.”

Families will receive a box of food that includes canned fruits and vegetables, beans, rice, cereal, pasta, peanut butter and meats.

The giveaway — what Suddith calls “Ram Family Food Day” — will be held at Newton High School in the bus pick-up area, beginning at 2 p.m. The school is located at 1 Ram Way in Covington.

All participants are required to wear masks and should stay in their vehicle. Volunteers will load the food into the trunk of the vehicle, Suddith said.