Category Archives: Food distro

Why We Need Survival Programs Right Now

Capitalism Creates Crisis. Solidarity is the Solution.

COVID-19 is a natural threat, but the crisis we’re all facing is political and economic. Even if we avoid contracting the virus, we can’t “self isolate” from our bills. Social distancing doesn’t put food on the table or keep a roof over our heads.

We started¬†Atlanta Survival Programs in a rush, as COVID-19 started taking off. It was clear that the government wouldn’t respond, too concerned with protecting business profits to take the threat seriously. It was clear that there would be a huge increase in food insecurity, as grocery stores empty of food and most people’s wallets empty of funds. Knowing that no help was coming from the rich and powerful, we responded by looking to the people and resources around us, and getting organized.

Two weeks later, more than 10,000lbs of free groceries have been delivered to the homes of people in need. Hundreds of people have responded to the call to help, forming a large scale, highly effective operation almost overnight. It’s growing by the day.

This is an amazing achievement, but it’s not nearly enough.

The fact is, capitalism has left our communities hollowed out, brittle, on the edge of collapse for a long time now. Everyone is desperate. Trump talks about getting the country back to normal, but there’s no normal to return to. No job, no childcare, no health insurance, growing debt, soaring rent: this is the status quo many have been barely surviving under for years – and that’s without a pandemic-fueled recession. If we return to normal, it will destroy us. We need to create a different world to return to.

Right now, while everything is on pause, we have a chance to build that world. Instead of going to work, a hundred of us spent the past two weeks figuring out how to get food to those who need it. Some have begun organizing with their neighbors to go on rent strike, or to open up abandoned houses to get homeless people a safe place off the streets. Out-of-work engineers are collaborating over video conference, working around the clock to design DIY medical care tools. Farmers are preparing new land to grow free food this spring.

The lesson is clear: When the economy stops, we keep going – and we’re actually more capable of caring for each other without it.

The Atlanta Survival Programs are a crisis response, but they’re not a short term measure, because the crisis isn’t over until survival is possible for everyone.

Food4Life: A COVID-19 Crisis Response Initative

Free Grocery Deliveries For All
a covid-19 relief initiative

Based on projections, we expect that the new coronavirus will have a severe impact on people in Atlanta. Before long, everyone will know someone personally who’s impacted by the pandemic, and institutions will not be able to keep up with the need for aid. Official support will not be available to everyone, particularly those already marginalized and unprivileged.

Time is short, we need to act now to organize ourselves to care for our communities. While the most immediate needs are for medical care, most of us are not medical experts. But everyone can support each other by caring for other vital needs.

No matter how you’re affected by the pandemic, the Food4Life program exists to help everyone survive.
Those who:
– Are already self-isolating because their age and/or medical conditions put them in serious danger if they contract the virus.
– Can’t afford expensive grocery delivery services must either risk exposure or go hungry.
– Are sick and cannot leave home for fear of infecting others.
– Can’t afford groceries because of lost work or structural poverty
– Live in a food desert. Lack of access to healthy food weakens the immune system, putting everyone in greater danger.

The program is straightforward in practice:

– Bulk food is donated by charities, grocery stores, community groups, and farmers.
– Volunteers are provided with protective equipment and training for preventing the spread of contagions.
– Organizers dispatch volunteers to make deliveries on a schedule, and handle logistics.
– Grocery drop-offs are made directly outside the homes of people in need, avoiding direct contact.

It will take an army of volunteers to meet the need, so we’re calling on anyone who’s able to sign up to volunteer.
We need:
– Drivers
– Food Donations
– Logistical volunteers (to handle volunteer coordination, recruitment, technology, communications, etc)

Sign up to help:

Request free groceries:

Sponsored by Atlanta Food Not Bombs

Teardown Picks Up Another Weekly Food Donation Run


The Teardown’s network of volunteers who distribute free food has been doing a donation run every Thursday night for several years. It’s a lot of really nice food, and people from around the neighborhood meet us at the porch free store on Thursday nights when the food arrives to help unload and distribute. Anything that is not taken off the free porch by Friday morning goes to the Lakewood distro, a pop-up grocery store where everything is free.

So last month when the store called and offered to let us have another donation pickup on Thursday mornings, we jumped at the opportunity. It’s even more food, in great condition. Word is already getting out in the neighborhood so people have been showing up to help unload and organize the free store and get some groceries. Today there was a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and cheese and eggs, flowers, and baked goods.

Want to get involved? We always need volunteers with the food runs throughout the week, and our weekly meal that we serve downtown in Woodruff Park every Sunday. Or you can just stop by the free store and while you are grabbing some groceries or clothes, help out by tidying up. Send us an email to see how you can plug in.