GUCU needs canned goods

Georgia United Credit Union asks for canned goods

DULUTH -- Since early March, the Georgia United Credit Union has been collecting nonperishable items at all 16 branches throughout metro Atlanta, including two locations in Duluth. Its goal is to gather at least four tons of goods to disperse between several food banks in different communities.

"Although Georgia United Credit Union has a long history of community service, scholarships, providing financial literacy speakers and collected Christmas gifts for foster children, this is the first time to help local food pantries," said Kim Wall, director of the public relations and community development at Georgia United Credit Union.

On President's Day, the company participated in a community service project. They assembled 4,000 meal and hygiene kits for a homeless center in Atlanta, but the employees wanted to help other areas around Atlanta.

"Our employees really enjoy this annual day of service and wanted to have a project to benefit the communities around all 16 of our branch locations," Wall said. "We decided that a CAN HUNGER drive would be a meaningful project to benefit local food banks and a natural 'next step' for our community service activities as food bank-giving tends to drop after the holiday season ends. In Gwinnett, we work with the Atlanta Community Food Bank and their local food pantry outlet is Cross Pointe Church nearby."

As an added incentive, every can that a person donates gets them closer to winning an iPad from the company, but Wall agrees that the new gadget isn't as important as the mission to gather food.

"The lingering recession has caused us to look for ways to help our neighbors in need," she said. "We encourage everyone when you're grocery shopping for yourself, realize there may be someone who may not have anything to eat, unless you give. It's easy to take advantage of those 'buy-one, get-one' specials to share with others."

The two branches where people can drop off food donations are located at the corporate office at 6705 Sugarloaf Parkway and the Gwinnett Branch at 2270 Satellite Blvd., both in Duluth.

The most valuable items are tuna, peanut butter and canned soups. The food drive ends April 30.