Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Day

Posted By on Mon, Jan 21, 2008 at 4:28 PM

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HOSEA FEED THE HUNGRY: Sheila Zackery readies a load of bread to distribute to Atlanta’s homeless.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

Every Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Hosea Feed the Hungry program feeds, clothes and offers medical care to more than 10,000 of Atlanta’s needy at Turner Field. It’s what the program is best known for, but it’s not all it does.

On Friday, the charity distributed food, blankets and toiletries to homeless Atlantans in shanties around the city. Loading the truck with supplies, outreach coordinator Sheila Zackery said poverty in Atlanta has grown in recent years, despite the city’s overall economic good fortune. Nearly 6,000 people came to the charity for meals last Christmas, up from 4,500 in 2006, she said.

Afemo Omilami, who is a board member and husband of the group’s president, Elisabeth Omilami, says 50 percent of the people the charity serves have jobs, but cannot keep up with housing and health care.

“In this great city, people are living in Third World conditions,” he said. “What does that say about us?”

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