Meal giveaway needs food donations 002

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Michael Smith and Melissa Register, both with the Greater Valdosta United Way, join Tony Gunter, co-founder of Living Bridges Ministry, to feed the residents who arrive at the ministry's community center at a previous drive-through event. Both Living Bridges and the United Way were recipients of grants from the Community Foundation of South Georgia. 

VALDOSTA – A handful of local nonprofits were tapped to receive grants recently from the COVID-19 Relief Fund via the Community Foundation of South Georgia.

The Thomasville-based agency announced in a statement Monday it plans to distribute 40 grants totaling $200,000; six Valdosta organizations are scheduled to receive some of the money.

Break Bread Together, Living Bridges Ministry, the Salvation Army Valdosta, Second Harvest of South Georgia, the Greater Valdosta United Way and Valdosta YMCA. 

Lt. Chris Thomas of the Salvation Army said being overjoyed with being chosen as a recipient is an understatement, adding there are no words to express his gratitude. 

“It is good to know that as we make decisions in response to the growing needs of our community that we have organizations such as this one who are standing with us to make it all happen,” he said. 

Eliza McCall, Second Harvest chief marketing officer, said the backing of an organization such as the Community Foundation of South Georgia makes Second Harvest’s long-term mission of relief and recovery easier.

Grants benefit agencies working on the frontline to provide relief and serve the senior, children, low-income or food-insecure populations, the statement from the Community Foundation read.

A second round of grants is planned to be distributed by mid-May after consideration from the foundation board’s grants committee, the statement read.

“We know that all of the communities we serve have been impacted by this virus, so we were moved to work quickly to approve grants to provide relief to those that need it most and ensure that organizations that touch all of our service area, including rural areas, receive this funding in a timely manner,” David Carlton, foundation executive director, said in a statement.

While new applications are not currently being accepted for funding assistance, a COVID-19 nonprofit response inquiry form is available at for agencies to explain how they’re responding to COVID-19. Forms can be emailed to Claire Bowen,

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