Submitted by: Lisa Jamison, LCSW, APS Social Worker
The Atlanta Public Schools Social Work Department has collaborated with Operation Feed to address food insecurities within the North Atlanta Cluster. On Friday, Oct. 23, this partnership will launch its first food distribution and support fair. The fair will be held at E. Rivers Elementary School from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Operation Feed began as a grassroots organization during the pandemic, which provided groceries to surrounding neighborhoods within the E. Rivers Elementary school zone. Their efforts have led to the establishment of a non-profit organization and an expansion of support for the entire North Atlanta cluster.
Their beginning chapter aligns with fundamental beliefs of the practice of social work. Jane Addams, one of the founding pioneers in our field, began the settlement houses, later called Hull House, to provide community services to ease urban problems in 1889.
“School social workers are advocates who help students achieve academic success by linking the home, school and community,” Addams wrote. “In order to reach this goal, school social workers provide support services to remove barriers to student success. These support services include intervention, crisis support and mental health counseling, addressing issues of non-attendance and truancy, and behavioral assessments to name a few.”
Collaborating with Operation Feed became an organic partnership for the social work department. Under the supervision of Social Work Coordinator Dr. Jacqueline Anthony, the North Atlanta cluster social workers (Gayle Roque; North Atlanta High School; Daniel Mathieu, Sutton Middle School; Alexandra Garland, Morris Brandon Elementary; and Lisa Jamison, Bolton Academy, Smith, Garden Hills, E. Rivers, and Jackson elementary schools) joined forces with Operation Feed in our attempt to begin removing barriers to education.
“I can’t sleep if a child is hungry,” said Michelle Larrabee-Martin, co-founder of Operation Feed. “Food insecurity is an adverse childhood experience that can pose a threat to the overall well- being of a child.”
Our collective efforts support Maslow’s hierarchy of need, which will have a positive impact on academic achievement and virtual participation.
Click here to pre-register.
We invite you to learn more about school social work by visiting the APS social work page at https://www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/195, the North Atlanta Cluster social work blog: https://tinyurl.com/NorthClusterSSWsinfo, and our state legislative organization, School Social Worker Association of Georgia at https://www.sswag.org/about.
Lastly, we leave you with the words of one of the pioneers in the practice of social work:
“Nothing can be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon and left one unexpended effort which might have saved the world.”
― Jane Addams