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Ga. Senator wants Second Harvest of Albany to leave

Updated: May. 9, 2019 at 7:33 AM EDT
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One South Georgia state senator is going toe to toe with Second Harvest of South Georgia.

Freddie Powell Sims says the food bank is not doing enough for Albany, but the Food Bank strongly disagrees.

Democrat Senator Freddie Powell Sims said the nonprofit food bank does not sufficiently serve Albany, and she wants them out. “This organization, Second Harvest, is not working for us,” said Powell Sims.

Ga. Senator wants Second Harvest of Albany to leave
Ga. Senator wants Second Harvest of Albany to leave(Source: WALB)

But Second Harvest Food bank officials said they have the numbers to back up their work.

Allegations of no support or services during Hurricane Michael has Senator Sims called out Second Harvest of South Georgia.

Now she wants to bring a new food bank to Albany, saying the $25,000 in tax funds for Second Harvest should be better spent.

“To think that going through the budgetary process to get funding for them, and that we’re kind of neglected in a very critical time of need, it’s a little bothersome,” said Powell Sims.

Eliza McCall with Second Harvest Food Bank
Eliza McCall with Second Harvest Food Bank

Eliza McCall with Second Harvest said they never asked Powell Sims for the $25,000, it was offered.

McCall showed a document saying Second Harvest delivered 825,000 pounds of food to Albany Agencies since October 14, 2018.

"The $25,000 was never meant to solely serve Dougherty County, it was always meant to either fund that study, or fund the operations of South Georgia,” said McCall.

It is not just the money that has Powell Sims on Second Harvest’s case.

“Our biggest concern is that it was closed during Hurricane Michael,” stated Powell Sims.

McCall said that simply is not true.

“Our business model did shift a little bit for about ten weeks. We were still open in October. We were still open in November, and still open in December. We did discontinue shopping hours here in January and February. We had some in March, and we resumed them now in April,” explained McCall.

Shopping hours are down from four days a week to two, but McCall says that happened before Michael due to staffing shortages.

“My folks in Albany and other areas are saying they could not get in touch with folks from Second Harvest,” said Powell Sims.

Regardless, the $25,000 will now be lost if the organization doesn’t adhere to news guidelines.

“She stripped that money out of the budget, and she didn’t just take the money out of the budget, she put a condition in it that required that if it got funded, that it would be only be spent for us to rejoin the Georgia Food Bank Association,” said McCall.

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