Brown Bag of Columbus is a nonprofit agency which provides supplemental groceries to low-income elderly individuals in Columbus and Phenix City.
Our sites are set-up like a small grocery store where the members (recipients) can make their own selections of the items they receive, at no cost to them. Preserving their dignity is a number one priority for us.
Each site is staffed 100% by volunteers who do greeting, registration, shopping, bagging, carry bags for those who can’t and showing each of them that people do care about them. The volunteers also make home deliveries to the elderly who no longer can come in; provide pickup trucks and manpower on the days we stock the site and help with seasonal activities and fund-raisers.
Brown Bag begun after a survey, done in conjunction with the Area Agency on Aging and other city groups showed the need for a program to help with the needs of the elderly. The results showed many individuals were "falling through the cracks" and unable to get needed assistance from federal or local programs, So, in July 1987 with seed money from the Interfaith Food Bank and the Columbus Baptist Association, the program was started. Today over 400 individuals are seen each month, and the need continues to grow as more of the elderly who retire find themselves in an unexpected situation as they're now in the poverty or below the poverty level. Add to this the fact that the majority of them still have the everyday household bills, doctor and medication bills. The need is growing and thus the need for volunteers to help us help those who have a great need.