Stories Of Impact – Toco Hills Community Alliance

As a part of our volunteer survey feedback, I am happy to announce that we are featuring Toco Hills Community Alliance as the first in a series of Agency spotlights. Toco is located in North Druid Hills and provides food and clothing assistance to their community through their food pantry program. If you’ve delivered to Toco, you know that their staff is super friendly and happy to help! I’m excited to share our conversation about Second Helpings volunteer impact with their Executive Director, Dr. Lisa Heilig. 

How have SHA’s food rescue donations impacted your feeding programs? 

Much, if not most, of the food rescue donations that SHA brings to us are fresh items, particularly fresh produce. We are trying to ensure that the food we distribute is healthy and nutritious, and we get excited to give out fresh produce for that reason. Without what SHA brings, the food we share would not have the same value nutritionally.

Do you have a favorite story to share about a great experience with a SHA volunteer?

We love all of our SHA volunteers! If they have time, we like to bring new SHA volunteers in for a tour so they can see how their work fits into the larger work of what we do. And we love getting to know our regular drivers and have them become part of our extended family.

Do you have a favorite story to share about a great experience with a particular donation?

We absolutely LOVE the Hello Fresh donations every week! They are a huge hit with the people we serve, many of whom look forward every week to finding out what kit they will receive. And, the flowers from Trader Joe’s brighten the days of all those we share with. Just a few weeks ago, a woman came to receive food and it was her birthday. We were able to share flowers from Trader Joe’s and a cake from Whole Foods – thanks to SHA, we were able to make a special day for her.

Do you have a favorite story to share about a great moment within your own operations that SHA’s volunteer-driven donations made possible?

There have been several times when the SHA donations from Whole Foods immensely helped to supplement our produce and fresh food, especially when we have experienced high usage. The donations from Emory University Hospital cafeteria have been very helpful in helping us to prepare our hot meals to-go for our unhoused friends. And, the busy moms, seniors, and unhoused persons really love the Delta meals that mean they do not have to cook.