Meet Shawanda: Athens Hunger Relief Partner

Meet Shawanda Johnson, one of our hunger relief partners at our Athens branch. Shawanda is a Neighborhood Leader in Winterville – a position which allows her to be a resource hub for 25 low-income families in her neighborhood. 

Shawanda does it all! She explains that she “meets people where they are” and asks what they need instead of making assumptions. For her clients, she provides anything from SNAP assistance to mental health services to access to fresh produce. Her office closet is filled with clothes, baby diapers, prom dresses, and many other resources that families raising children may need. Her goal is to help residents become self-sufficient so that they benefit from her assistance but do not depend on it. She also runs her own cooking business, Shawanda’s Kitchen, where she teaches cooking classes and prepares nutritious meals for people.  

Shawanda has been working with Family Connection-Communities In Schools of Athens since 2012.  The Neighborhood Leaders is now a paid position and is a partnership between ACCGov and Family Connection-CIS of Athens. Since many of the clients she serves do not have a grocery store in walking distance, they often do not have access to produce – and certainly not fresh produce that was picked straight from the tree the day before.

With the aid of our map and network of volunteers, Shawanda is able to provide her community a regular supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

This year for #GivingTuesday, we have an extra special request for support. One of our greatest resources is our fruit tree map – an inventory of 4,300+ trees we’ve mapped in Atlanta and Athens. We use this map every single day during peak harvest season, in order to know which fruits are ripening, where, and who will harvest the fruit. 

So what’s the problem? Many basic functions of the map have not been updated in six years: simple search features and geo-locating services are defunct. The map is critical to our ability to source the freshest produce and get it to a partner like Shawanda Johnson.

Help us map the way to a fruitier future for all by making a gift to CJ for #GivingTuesday. We couldn’t do this work without you.

Thanks to a generous donor, all gifts will be matched up to $10,000, so your impact will be doubled!