ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Second Harvest of South Georgia food bank is pulling its services from four Southwest Georgia counties, including Dougherty County.
This comes after complaints against the organization, most notably from Georgia Senator Freddie Powell Sims.
Dougherty, Lee, Calhoun, and Terrell counties that will no longer be served.
We are told thousands of people in these counties rely on food from Second Harvest, but representatives said its time to step aside.
“We care too much about this community to be the source of division and so we feel the best thing we can do is to remove ourselves from the equation,” said Second Harvest of South Georgia Representative Eliza McCall.
McCall said the executive board made the decision Wednesday to cut services from four Southwest Georgia counties.
This comes after five months of conflict between Second Harvest, and Georgia State Senator Freddie Powell Sims.
“What we believe is she’s gotten some very bad information and what we wanted to do is give her the facts,” said McCall.
She said they’ve reached out to Sims about the allegations of not supporting the Albany community during Hurricane Michael.
“We sent representatives with facts and figures to try and set the story straight and she said that she did not want to see our facts and figures,” McCall explained.
But McCall said there are numbers not many can avoid.
"Food insecurities is a crisis in SOWEGA. Dougherty County is in the top 20 counties in the country for food insecurity,” said McCall.
She told us at least 50 partnering agencies in Dougherty County alone will be impacted by this change.
“We are spending a lot of time addressing these issues, addressing these allegations that have been made against us and not being able to focus on the task at hand which is making sure that hungry people get fed,” said McCall.
After 10 years of serving this community, McCall said this wasn’t an easy decision to make, but hopes this will be a smooth transition for who comes in next.
“I don’t know that we have been able to satisfy those concerns for her so at this point we feel like its best for us and the good of the community to move on,” said McCall.
We are told operations in Albany will discontinue immediately.
Second Harvest will continue with their summer feeding program for this summer, and they will supply partners in all four counties with product for the remainder of the summer.
This story just became official, so we have not reached out to Senator Sims yet.