Gloria Simmons, food pantry manager at Hancock Helping Hands, is dedicated to helping her neighbors in Sparta, GA.

Bustling with volunteers packing food boxes, greeting guests in line, and loading cars with groceries, Hancock Helping Hands has been helping neighbors in Sparta, GA, for over 28 years.

Food pantry manager Gloria Simmons said the organization has been serving an unprecedented number of families lately, with about 600 visitors per month.

“In the last few years, it has grown tremendously,” said Gloria.

With just one small IGA in town, access to healthy meals is a challenge for many Sparta residents – especially as inflation continues to impact grocery prices.

Local mom Heather, who visits Hancock Helping Hands every month, said the food pantry has been a huge help for her family.

Items like beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, beans, vegetables, fruit, and nonperishable items have helped stock her kitchen, where she cooks healthy meals for her children.

“When the prices of things go up, your income doesn’t go up. Therefore, you’re spending more on the things that you used to get for less,” said Heather. “It’s tough. Times are tough. You’ve got to use what resources and help are available.”

Guests can pick up groceries from Hancock Helping Hands every month, but in this challenging economy, the organization is working hard to meet the extra need.

“I’ve had people say, ‘Can I please have another box? This one doesn’t last all month,’” said Gloria. “And of course, we always give that to them. There’s so much going on — you don’t need to be hungry.”

We couldn’t do what we do without partners like Hancock Helping Hands. Every meal matters for our neighbors in need, and thanks to these partnerships, we can put food on the table for nearly 300,000 families every year.

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