Atlanta Marketing Co-Op Donation Fights Food Insecurity in Metro Area

In May, as many Planet Fitness® locations in Georgia began reopening, the Atlanta Marketing Co-Op took the opportunity to think of others impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The 46-club co-op donated $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta to support the nonprofit’s efforts to fight food insecurity. With school closures, many BGCA youth were left without meals provided through the education system. 

“We felt there was a need to help in Atlanta, and food insecurity is a major issue for families in this area. We saw a drastic jump in need due to the loss of jobs from COVID-19,” said Stanley DeMartinis Jr., franchisee with Alder Partners, which has locations in and around Atlanta. “We tried to determine the best way to help the community and reached out to our partners at BGCA. They were able to explain how many families were in need and how they were helping them while keeping their doors closed. It seemed a perfect fit to work with them.” 

The contribution from PF® was directed toward the clubs’ weekly drive-up meal delivery program and food insecurity task force. The six drive-up locations served some 6,000 meals each week to families in metro Atlanta, providing more than 17,500 bags of food since March. The PF donation funded roughly 350 meal bags for BGCA youth. Each bag contained a recipe card and the ingredients necessary to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire family.  

For Easy Mile Fitness franchisee Philip Amato, whose organization is part of the Atlanta Co-Op, Planet Fitness is all about impacting people’s lives and COVID-19 wasn’t going to prevent PF from continuing to give back to the community. “While our gyms were closed, at our core we still wanted to be making a positive impact on someone’s life in any way we could, and we thought this donation was that opportunity,” he explained. “When we open a Planet Fitness location, it is not just another retail shop, but it, more often than not, becomes a part of the local community. We want to be there for people who have been there for us, particularly when times are tough.” 

Once summer break began for Atlanta schools, PF funds were reallocated to stuffing backpacks with enough food to feed a family of four for a week. The Boys & Girls Clubs designate the backpacks for those members whose families are most in need. In addition, a soccer ball was included for each family to help promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.  

“At Planet Fitness, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to help change people’s lives every day through fitness,” said DeMartinis. “We are proud and honored to be able to give back to the communities in and around Atlanta that have supported our brand for the past 10 years.”