Special Photo Russell Maltbie, third from left, helps load food boxes into a family's car in Columbus last weekend. Maltbie is president of Supreme Sales and Marketing, a Braselton-based business that's providing discounted groceries for sale to families in need.
BRASELTON -- In one of the toughest economic times in decades, one local business has made it a mission to make meals more affordable for struggling families.
Food marketing company Supreme Sales and Marketing LLC has launched a new food box program offering groceries at a discount, an initiative designed as a fundraising opportunity for community organizations and as a helping hand for those in need.
It's a program that is much needed, said sales and office manager Leigh Carroll.
"The more we talked to people the more we realized that (people) were devastated," Carroll said.
Families' struggles were made increasingly difficult by the closure of Monroe-based Angel Food Ministries in September, she said. The nonprofit organization had served thousands of families across America for nearly two decades.
Supreme Sales and Marketing was initially a food supplier for Angel Food Ministries, but when company owners saw how the nonprofit's closure was affecting needy families, the company saw an opportunity to help.
"We had sold protein products to Angel Food Ministries, and we became very attached to the program," Carroll said. "So, once we learned they were closing, we just started trying to pick up where they left off."
Since August, Supreme Sales and Marketing has been in touch with churches all over the state who want to be involved with the program.
The program offers community organizations, small businesses, school groups, churches and others the opportunity to purchase boxed groceries and resell them to families in need.
Groups can contact the business to place orders for boxes full of protein-rich items like chicken and sausage. The business then delivers the boxes to a "hub site" in the community.
Most recently, Supreme Sales and Marketing visited a hub site in Columbus to help distribute food.
Families pay the church or organization about $40 for a box of food valued at close to $100, which typically lasts one to two weeks, Carroll said.
Last month, the business sold food to hundreds of families, and the numbers keep growing Carroll said.
Supreme Sales and Marketing President Russell Maltbie said he "wanted to find a way to help families afford quality, nutritious food."
"With our resources, there is no reason that high quality food cannot be made accessible to everyone no matter what their income bracket may be," Maltbie said.
To learn more about the food box program, contact Carroll at 770-778-9788.