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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Helgesen

May ~ Making an Impact

Updated: Jun 16

Perhaps you’ve recently heard the term “food insecurity” or caught a glimpse of the long lines wrapped around local food pantries. Food insecurity is defined as the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, and this is an issue affecting millions of individuals worldwide. Beyond the physical ramifications of hunger, food insecurity also takes a toll on mental health. The stress and anxiety of not knowing where the next meal will come from can lead to feelings of hopelessness, depression, and low self-esteem.

Studies have shown than households of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring intellectual disabilities are about two times more likely to experience financial strain and resulting food insecurity than a typical family unit. The additional cost of caring for a special needs family member, disparate access to needed services, and loss of income when a parent or sibling must assume the role of caregiver are some of the obstacles faced by these families.

Access to nutritious food not only nourishes the body but also enhances mood, cognitive function, and overall mental well-being. The seemingly simple act of donating some canned goods to a food drive, actually provides struggling families with the resources necessary to meet their basic needs...and the overall impact is much, much more than just a tasty meal. These families are given hope, and you cannot put a price tag on that!

In May, ACES made several visits to the local food banks in Gwinnett County. Thanks to the generosity of the participants at Our ACES Charity Poker events, we delivered over 2,500 pounds of nonperishable food items to Lilburn Cooperative Ministry and North Gwinnett Co-Operative! Words cannot express how impressive it was to see the bounty of your giving!

So, take a look...

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