The Atlanta Community Food Bank and Second Helpings Atlanta formally agreed to collaborate Monday, April 30. Sandy Springs-based Second Helpings Atlanta has become a food rescue partner of the food bank, one of the largest hunger relief organizations in the Southeast.

“We are excited to expand our partnership to reduce food waste in metro Atlanta and get more food into the hands of our neighbors in need,” said Kyle Waide, the president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. “Second Helpings Atlanta is growing rapidly, and their 90 Minute Model is efficient and effective as we work to end hunger together in our communities.”

Founded at Temple Sinai, SHA is a nonprofit food rescue organization with more than 450 active volunteer drivers.

The drivers are given routes that enable them to drive their personal vehicles to food donors, such as restaurants; pick up surplus, perishable food; deliver it to nonprofit organizations that serve the needy; and return home or to work in 90 minutes or less.

The Atlanta Community Food Bank serves metro Atlanta and North Georgia through more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies in 29 counties to provide nutritious meals and fresh produce to people in need. The food bank distributed 69.3 million pounds of food and grocery products in 2017, enough for nearly 56.4 million meals.

Under the new partnership, the food bank will refer to SHA organizations that are interested in establishing food rescue programs. Second Helpings then will develop the logistics to pick up the donated food and food-related products and will deliver the items to food bank partner agencies.

Second Helpings delivered 85 percent of the food it rescued in 2017 — 1,298,422 of 1,530,976 pounds — to food bank partners, and SHA operates 24 routes per week that were originally referred by the food bank. Those routes accounted for 238,404 pounds of food rescued in 2017.

SHA managed 7,384 pickups in 2017, each rescuing an average of 207 pounds of food. The total rescued was 13 percent more than in 2016.

“We are proud to be an official food rescue partner of the Atlanta Community Food Bank,” Second Helpings President Sheri Labovitz said. “This is an outstanding opportunity for us to expand our reach, and we encourage all agencies in our existing network to consider becoming a food bank partner agency.”

The food bank and SHA will work closely to identify new food recovery opportunities and develop plans to test, refine and implement better approaches to reduce hunger in the Atlanta area.