Our community is comprised of many different people with many different stories. At The Southwest Ecumenical Emergency Assistance Center, also known as SWEEAC, thousands of families are served, regardless of their stories. SWEEAC is an organization based out of Atlanta, GA which provides resources for families. The resources they provide to the community include, but are not limited to food and clothing distribution, and job leads.
SWEEAC has been actively helping the city of Atlanta since 1988. Aiding zip codes 30310, 30311, and 30331, SWEEAC is solely responsible for feeding over 15,000 families. In 2014, SWEEAC hosted mobile food drives at least twice a month. These drives consist of vendors include organizations such as Wellcare, Humana, Tax Payer Advocacy, Peach State, and more. The vendors assist participants in filing food stamps, Medicaid, and other necessary resources. Boxes and bags of food are supplied to each individual.
I was blessed to be a part of this organization by volunteering my time and getting to know the staff and the community. I met the Executive Director, Mrs. Ernesta Blackmon Ingram. I was awarded the opportunity to speak with Mrs. Ingram and get a first-hand perspective of what it takes to run such a successful resource center.
Mrs. Ernesta Blackmon Ingram has been the Executive Director at SWEEAC since she decided to stop working her Corporate America job and work for a more rewarding organization. She took on her role at SWEEAC and has not looked back. She learned of the organization from her church, who has been a supporter since 1988. Mrs. Ingram has successfully maintained the integrity and appeal to the organization and always looks to improve. Her most notable attribution to SWEEAC is the relationship development with resources for food and the USPS, where they are able to receive undeliverable clothing sent in the mail. “Our clothing closet remains stocked and our food pantry remains stocked because of the wonderful relationship we have” she says. SWEEAC is supported by 11 local churches that promote the center to their congregations and their communities. The center is located at 1040 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Atlanta, GA 30310. They offer a full food pantry, a clothing closet, and a job resource workspace.
SWEEAC feeds the community, no matter what their circumstances. The organization receives an abundance of food from The Atlanta Community Food Bank, and has not had to turn anyone away yet. The food pantry is open to families of all sizes. Volunteers package meals based on family size, so if there is a family of 6, their package is already prepared and has enough food for a family of 6. There are special food programs for the community, one that especially caters to the elderly community. The Senior Box Program is an 80 spot enrollment program for senior citizens which provide low salt and sugar items to the elderly community. The organization also receives food from local farms, supporting agriculture in the community. The beauty in SWEEAC is that they don’t serve for individual meals, their pantry provides breakfast, lunch, and dinners for families, ensuring that people get enough to eat.
Although there are many active volunteers, Mrs. Ingram insists that it’s never enough. She declares that her most immediate goal is to “learn about the community by talking to the community” as she urges volunteers to commit their time by contacting 404) 756-1699 and ask for Josh Dunlap or Daffnie Jiles. One of the job assignments that needs to be covered by volunteers at SWEEAC is field penetration to discover new job contacts for the job resource center. It is important to properly staff, especially to facilitate the 350-400 people that attend each and every food mobile.
A noble service indeed, SWEEAC has clothed, fed, and supplied thousands of people with job opportunities. Most of the recipients of assistance from SWEEAC become volunteers. A great way to give back! SWEEAC looks forward to a HUGE 2015! They are looking to feed more people, spend more time with families intimately and learn their stories, and work to make this world a hunger free world, one family at a time. Hats off to Mrs. Ernesta Blackmon Ingram for being an instrumental force in stewardship and community service. You are appreciated!
The next events:
- Thursday December 18th- Mobile Food Drive 9am until
- Saturday December 20th- Toy Drive (for preregistered participants)
1040 Ralph David Abernathy BLVD
Atlanta, GA 30310
Connect with SWEEAC!
Call 404) 756 -1699 for more information!