Promoting a just cause amid a festive, family friendly environment is the essence of the Community Assistance Center’s inaugural Food ‘n Fun Festival.
Originally set for May 19 but rained out, the event has been rescheduled for June 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Morgan Falls Athletic Complex in Sandy Springs.
The center serves those in need in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody by providing financial support, helping to meet basic needs and promoting self-reliance.
“This particular event is going to help make us more visible in our [coverage areas],” said Community Assistance Center board member Judy Pollock. “It’s an opportunity to reach our client population, patron population and the community-at-large.”
Organizers have devised a games and activity slate in the vein of virtually something-for-everybody.
Youth — from toddlers to teenagers — will also be well served Sunday. A kids’ zone will be set up for the tiny ones while the older sets can partake in a range of sports — flag football, batting cages and basketball included — and arts and crafts.
Representatives from the U.S. Army and Marine Corps will guide military games for different age groups.
Highlights of the day are those activities linked to the center’s stated service mission.
Prime example: The team food drive contest is expected to help replenish the organization’s pantry, which traditionally sees shortfalls in supplies this time of year.
In addition to her board duties, Pollock doubles as a volunteer — working in the pantry on Mondays.
“It’s a critical time for us,” she said. “The community sort of takes a vacation and forgets [donating to] the pantry.”
Items like peanut butter, tuna fish, canned vegetables, cooking oil, diapers and laundry detergent are among those sorely needed, Pollock added.
Attendees to the Food ‘n Fun Festival can contribute in multiple ways.
Admission is a minimum donation of one food item per person Those who give a minimum of $10 will receive an event T-shirt or center canvas bag.
The event will draw a cross section of community members, including Dunwoody and Sandy Springs officials. Representatives from sponsors like the Sandy Springs Sports and Recreation Department and UPS will also be on hand.
Pete Saunders, a UPS manager, acknowledged the need for more corporate partners like his Sandy Springs-based firm in addressing social issues like hunger and homelessness. “Corporate entities not only provide a well-established visibility and connection to what makes the world work, but they provide human capital — the people to make things more dignified and helpful to those in need,” Saunders said.