The Latin American Association will open a newly renovated food pantry on March 5 serving the Buford Highway community. 

The LAA, which works to support Latino communities in Georgia, will open the food pantry at its Atlanta Outreach Center at 2750 Buford Highway in Brookhaven. 

In late 2020, the city provided a $25,000 grant to the LAA in an attempt to address food insecurity brought on by the pandemic. Renovations to the food pantry began in December of 2020, according to an LAA spokesperson. 

“The LAA had a food pantry before the pandemic hit, but with the health protocols the food pantry was replaced by continuous efforts around drive through food distributions,” said LAA spokesperson Laura Estefenn Diazgranados in an email. “With the funding provided by the city of Brookhaven we were able to renovate the food pantry we had.”

Diazgranados said the LAA has seen an increase in the need for food assistance in the Latin community since the pandemic began last year. In the city’s press release, LAA CEO Santiago Marquez said that food insecurity is continuing into 2021.

“With the new food pantry, we are able to have a larger food capacity and provide more families with food,” Marquez said. 

The $25,000 grant was funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, according to a city spokesperson. 

The food pantry will be available to families by appointment on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who make a donation in person or show up for an appointment must wear a mask and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for COVID-19 safety. 

The community can support the food pantry by donating non-perishable foods or making a donation to the LAA. Those interested in making a donation or those in need of food can call 404-638-1839. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.