Open Hand Expands its Impact in Atlanta

Edited by Mikkel Hyldebrandt

In response to the escalating demand for its invaluable services, Open Hand, a cherished nonprofit within the LGBTQ+ community, is embarking on a significant expansion in metro Atlanta. The driving force behind this growth is the pressing need for Open Hand’s medically tailored meal and nutrition services, a demand that has surged not only in Atlanta but also beyond.

Heading this transformative initiative is Matt Pieper, the dedicated Executive Director of Open Hand. Pieper is at the forefront of addressing the ever-increasing demand for Open Hand’s services, emphasizing the crucial role the organization plays in providing medically tailored meals and nutritional support.

Open Hand recently marked a groundbreaking moment by initiating the construction of its new headquarters in the Gove Park neighborhood and Westside Park. This strategic move is a direct response to the surging demand for their services and is funded by the organization’s largest capital campaign to date—a $19.5 million initiative titled “The Healing Power of Food: A Healthy Life Delivered.”

Pictured L-R: Matthew Pieper, Executive Director Open Hand, Shirley Powell, Open Hand Board Chair, Johanna Ellis Reisinger, Open Hand Campaign Chair, Katie MacKenzie, Senior Director of Resource Development and Marketing

The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by a collaboration of campaign and organizational leadership, the board of directors, construction and architecture teams, symbolizing the collective effort and commitment to Open Hand’s mission.

Open Hand has evolved into the Southeast’s largest community-based supplier of home-delivered meals and nutritional counseling and ranks among the largest in the nation. Currently preparing and delivering 5,000 meals daily, the organization serves over 11,000 medically fragile individuals annually through targeted nutrition services. In 2022 alone, Open Hand provided nearly 1.4 million made-from-scratch meals, each meticulously approved by a registered dietitian before reaching clients’ homes.

Open Hand leadership, Board Members, Campaign Committee, and representatives from the construction team at Moeller Purcell and architecture firm Terminus.

Despite this impressive scale of operation, the demand for Open Hand’s expertise continues to grow. As Georgia’s leading provider of targeted nutrition interventions, Open Hand anticipates a 50 percent increase in demand for its meals and services over the next five years. The new 43,000 square-foot headquarters, located at 1380 W. Marietta Street, is poised to be a catalyst for further growth, enabling Open Hand to expand its reach and provide the healing power of food to even more neighbors in need.

With plans to move into the new facility by late Spring 2024, Open Hand’s innovative approach to addressing nutritional needs underscores its commitment to making a lasting impact on the health and well-being of the community it serves.

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