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School cafeteria food is regulated by state Food Service Rules and cannot be given to other students.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has recognized Helping Hands as a meritorious program that does not conflict with Food Service Rules. When food is donated to Helping Hands coolers and bins, it is removed from the school cafeteria and is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Health.

It is unsafe or a liability to handle potentially hazardous foods such as milk, fresh produce, and juice then redistribute them to children.

Helping Hands has developed a written plan, with strict procedures and guidelines in place to keep foods at a safe temperature. Food is inspected before distribution and families who receive food are given food-safe advice to practice at home. All participants must sign a release to receive food.

This program adds burden to school cafeteria staff and school nutrition directors.

Just the contrary, our program operates outside of school nutrition with no added burden. School cafeteria staff have absolutely no responsibility for food donated to Helping Hands. No Helping Hands school has experienced extra costs for food as a result of participating in our program. No extra paperwork or documentation is required of school nutrition directors. All have protection from liability under federal and state law. 

If families need food they can go to a community food pantry.

Food pantries require transportation and documentation. It is common that a bag or box of food is given out only once every 30 to 60 days per family. Our Helping Hands Program gives out weekly food to children.

People will “take advantage” of the program and get food when they really do not need it.

The Helping Hands Ending Hunger Program is open to anyone who feels like they need it. During its years of operation, Helping Hands has found that only those that need food, get it. Many families use the program only until their circumstances change, and they can afford the groceries they need again.

Schools already feed a lot of children free or reduced lunch, so it is not the school's responsibility to feed them when they are not in school.

All Title 1 schools have a large school population that needs additional assistance. Changing family dynamics are shifting the obligation of schools to provide more assistance to the student they serve.

With schools in a budget crunch, it would be too expensive to take on a project like this.

While there are start-up costs involved, many items such as refrigerators, carts and coolers can be donated new or be second-hand. Our Helping Hands Program is constantly seeking grant funding, donations, and sponsorship to help schools with start-up.

If a school has a “backpack program” it is doing enough to help students.

The Helping Hands Program easily supplements backpack programs providing better, complete, and more nutritious meals for students and their families while not in school.

Helping fellow students get this needed food takes too long or is hard to organize.

In fact, the Helping Hands Program has done all of the legwork. Starting and coordinating the program is simple, easy and fast with only a few committed teachers, students and volunteers from your community.

Hunger is an issue that affects children in third world countries, not in Georgia.

Actually, Georgia has a higher rate of hunger than the rest of the nation. One in 6 children have food insecurity and don’t have enough food to eat on any given day. Our children need our help!

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