Appreciation for Those Working on Behalf of our Vulnerable Seniors

Matthew Pieper, Executive Director

Since Open Hand Atlanta expanded our mission over 20 years ago, we have been squarely focused on helping our homebound and medically-fragile seniors better manage their health and improve their quality of life.

Never has that been more important than over the past year and a half, when a record number of seniors relied on Open Hand – both in Metro Atlanta and in rural communities throughout the state. Thanks in large part to our innovative resolve, and the support of our many incredible collaborative partners, we’ve been able to provide an unprecedented number of meals – reaching nutrition insecure seniors in counties struggling to provide access to healthy food and health-promoting services.

Of course, we still have so much work to do. And as we continue to provide our beloved senior clients the highest quality meals and nutrition services, I am eternally grateful to work alongside community leaders throughout Georgia who are dedicated to helping older adults thrive and continue to age in place.

Robyn Crittenden, who up until recently served as Georgia’s Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (DHS), is one such leader. During her tenure at DHS, she launched an annual Senior Hunger Summit that each year brings leaders within the senior meals sector together to brainstorm solutions and foster innovative collaborations. And when COVID-19 began to devastate our community, Commissioner Crittenden jumped into action to ensure agencies across the state had the resources and information needed to protect seniors and address their needs. I’m incredibly thankful for her leadership and wish her great success in her new role as Georgia’s new Commissioner of the Department of Revenue.

In addition, I’m very pleased to share that Gerlda Hines has been appointed as Georgia’s new Commissioner of the Department of Human Services: her promotion to the Commissioner role is well deserved, and I sincerely look forward to working with her. Open Hand joins colleagues across the state in congratulating both of these women in their new roles, and we stand ready to support Commissioner Hines’ vision in advocating for increased nutrition security among our Georgia seniors.

Please join us as we continue to be a voice for the older adults in our lives and in our community. In fact, if you’d like to know more about how you can help Open Hand advocate for our important work, please reach out to me. I’m always appreciative to hear from you at

Matthew Pieper, Executive Director

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